Monday, January 19, 2009


Today is a day to talk about dreams. It the day we specifically honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his dream. It is especially poignant today, since tomorrow his dream comes full circle. I can only imagine his joy, could he have been present tomorrow.

I grew up in the 1960's in a small town in Mississippi. Segregation was the way of life. I grew up on a farm out in the country, and the only "neighborhood" kids were the black children of the families who worked with my father. We played together during the day, but of course they weren't allowed to spend the night. I knew they went to different schools, sat in the balcony at the movie theater, and even had a different doctor and waiting room at the clinic, but I accepted that as normal. And being a little girl in the South, I certainly never questioned the status quo.

Life began to change when I was in sixth grade. That year, amidst a lot of talk among the grown-ups, a little African-American girl enrolled in my school and my class. Her name was Annice Davis, and we were friends (we're the two on the end). It was strictly a school relationship, since I knew better than to ask if she could come over. She left after sixth grade, and I never heard from her again. She opened my eyes to a different way of life, and I regret that I never told her.

Although life was slowly beginning to change, I had little idea of why. I didn't know who Dr. King was or what he represented. But because he had a dream of a different life, he changed mine.

I had many dreams when I was young. I dreamed of being a veterinarian, a writer, a teacher, an efficiency expert, and Mary Richards (I probably watched too much tv). Some dreams came true, and some were discarded along the way. But as I realize that it took 46 years for Dr. King's dream to finally come to fruition, I know that my dreams can come true. I just have to keep dreaming. And maybe along the way, my dreams can change someone else's life, too.

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