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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

This blog is for George.

I doubt George reads my blog. I doubt George will ever read my blog. But blogworld, I want you to know about George.

On Sunday I went in to work and when I got to the College Sunday School room, I discovered my teal, hand-crafted bowl with turtles on it, lovingly given to me by my younger sister when I was in college was in the trash. Broken. Broken in the trash.

I did not have a panic attack. I did pitch a huge fit.

Warrented. All of it.

There is an organization that meets at my church during the week and uses some of our rooms. I noticed they used my small college room when I found food and trash all over it one Sunday morning. I told the building manager; a custodian now cleans that one small room every week after they meet. Then they started erasing what my teacher had been writing on the board during Bible study and referencing week to week. We have plenty of small rooms all over the building. I asked the business manager to reassign them a new room that isn't currently being used for Sunday school. Not a big deal. We've got tons of rooms and space just for that.

Then I found the broken bowl.

Can I just say that that handmade bowl has survived, count with me, wait for it... at least six moves that I can think of including one from Missouri to Texas. What could they have possibly done that would have broken that very thick (you know how bowls are when you start off throwing pots) bowl?

I was so angry. And so hurt. And it wasn't just a bowl, it was a bowl with turtles (and that has meaning) and it has my sisters fingerprints and fingernail marks in it (and that has meaning) and i got it in college (and that has meaning) and i loved it and wanted to share it with my college students. in their room it held small stones with words like hope, peace, love, and joy etched in them.

Why did that group mess with the hope, peace, love, and joy and break the bowl?

I was hurt and I was angry so I took the small trashcan from the Sunday School room down to my office as evidence to show my business manager the next day and repeat my request to re-locate this group. One of my college students consoled me by suggesting that he could probably glue it back together. Love them.

But it was gone the next morning.

I went into my office and discovered the trash had been emptied. Not just my ugly metal can, but the cute plastic one from the S.S. room with my evidence and my bowl in it. I am officially an idiot.

Panic returned, but a sense of loss replaced it.

I told my business manager about what had happened.

"The trash was emptied just this morning, do you want to go look for it?"
"No I have to go now and get back in an hour for Deacon's meeting tonight. I don't want to look for the pieces of my bowl in the trash."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm sure. I'm not digging through a trash dumpster. It's not a big deal, it's just that my sister made me that bowl and I was going to try and put it back together. But it's fine. It's gone. It happens. I'll get over it. I'm just disappointed and upset at that group for breaking it."

After Deacon's meeting, George, one of our custodians, approached me.

"Ann, did you have a pot in the trash?"
"Huh?" I was a little confused after having just come out of a two hour meeting that fried my brain.
"A bowl in the trash that was yours?"
"Um... oh! Oh yes. Why?"
"I got it. It's on your desk."
"You what?"
"I got it out of trash."
"George no! You didn't! I told Marshall no. Oh no - you didn't dig through the trash did you?"
"It was right on top. I had the cleaner wash it. It's on your desk now."

I grabbed George in a huge hug right there in the youth quad with half the deacons standing around.

"George, I'm so sorry. But thank you so much."

He just shook his head like it were no big deal. "It's on your desk in a bag."

I almost cried driving home. Every day George and I greet each other. Every once in a while, we share specifics about grand-children or worship or whatever. But George searched the trash for the special bowl my sister made me and that generous act took our friendship to a whole bowl new level.

And so this is my shout out to George.

Thanks.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great story!

andee said...

Ha. I saw the name "George" and thought this would be your response to the state of the union address. I kept thinking it would come around, like 'Iraq is a broken bowl thrown in the trash'. George the janitor, not George the president. I always get those two confused.

Alexis said...

yay for your good story, yay for george, and for hugs, and things not always being yucky all the time.

is that same group possibly who at one point removed our advent wreath and used it? we were wondering when it disappeared and then came back.

hmm. see you on thursday.

sarah said...

ok, i just got teary at my desk. THANKS A LOT, ANN.

no but really, thanks. this is the kind of story that softens my increasingly calloused heart.

Michelle said...

I've been learning to let go of certain things or items with a ton of memory. I've been learning to let go about other things as well (like the fifty dollar bill that disappeared)...and it's been hard. Damned hard. Mainly because I.Don't.Want.To.

So, it's nice to read about something that didn't want to be let go and finding its way home. Fate? Love? Who knows, but it's still nice.

Craig said...

LOVED this story.

amy said...

I'm glad it's back. Those turtles were hard, and that is a very special glaze.

stephanie said...

That is the sweetest thing ever.

jenA said...

aw, george is awesome.