I’ve been conducting historical research about the old Ocean View School in Norfolk, Virginia, especially about their famous bell and the first principal, Lucy Mason Holt. In other words, I’ve been examining the contents in a well-documented scrapbook. As I began looking at each and every page filled with so much history about a beloved era of time and place, I came across an article written by Mrs. Winnie H. Lawrence. Her article had been published in the Virginia Journal of Education in 1940. It’s a touching article, one that needs to be shared with everyone, because it’s written from the heart. Mrs. Lawrence’s letter reveals how much her co-workers (teachers) gave to her without anything in return. As I read her letter, it brought tears to my eyes. Mrs. Lawrence’s letter is timeless and the perfect opportunity to share it is NOW!
The title of Mrs. Lawrence’s article was, “The Unselfishness of Some People.” Here’s part one of her letter:
An experience a year old July 24, 1940, though full of tragedy, has opened up to me a world that I didn’t know existed. Yes, I have made a real discovery about unselfishness which has awakened in me an urgent desire to tell the whole story in the hope that the unselfishness of some people may be followed where there happens to fall by the wayside some poor, unfortunate soul like myself.
Having undergone a major operation on July 24, 1939, I returned home in due time, expecting to be at my pose of duty in the classroom when school opened in September. On August 15, I suddenly became paralyzed and could not swallow even a drop of water. After months of kindly care, I was up on my feet again, swallowing, and enjoying many things.
Perhaps, one of the things which has helped me most was the unselfish attitude of my fellow workers at school. One day when I felt a very great desire to get out of my sick room what should suddenly appear at my door but two angel faces who had brought a rolling chair, purchased by my friends at school. In a few minutes my nurse had me out on the porch, where the world look beautiful and from that day to this, I’ve been on the road to recovery.
More in part two...