Mrs. Susie Kate Taylor
Mrs. Susie Kate Taylor, school teacher supreme, was one of my childhood heroes. I thought she was just a good teacher, and I liked her, but she was nothing special at the time. It was later, much later that I discovered her real value to me. She was called Ms. Taylor by her 5th grade students at Lawrenceville Elementary School in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
Mrs. Taylor taught me in the 5th grade at the tender age of 10. I was just beginning to explore some of the questions of my world, some maybe a little prematurely. She taught us our multiplication tables and personal health and grooming. In addition to Arithmetic, we also studied Health, English, Social Studies, Science and Spelling. I was a whizz in English, Spelling and Science but only fair at Arithmetic. I loved to diagram sentences in English class and I was always one of the last standing at the spelling bee.
I think my love of word structure was a foundation for my later desires to write. I have a fair gift to write and have done some serious writing before but my writing inspiration must come from within, not from assignment. I have done some professional writing for magazines but I don’t like writing from an assignment; I’d much rather let the words roll from my heart. I give Mrs. Susie Kate Taylor a lot of the credit for my writing skills development.
Mrs. Taylor lived in my town of Auburn, Georgia; well actually, she lived in Carl, but the city limit signs of Carl and Auburn were on the same post. Both were little whistle-stop communities kept alive by the railroad and Highway 29. Auburn straddled the railroad that ran between Lawrenceville and Athens. When my folks moved to Auburn, and I no longer attended Lawrenceville Elementary, Mrs. Susie Kate kept in touch with me and my family. You see, Mrs. Taylor was a good Christian lady; yea every bit a real lady. She was a widow and lived with her only son who was a bachelor. Mrs. Susie Kate was a Methodist, the old fashioned kind who really loved the Lord, and she loved me too.
My folks took us to Church sometimes but not regularly, but Mrs. Susie Kate often called my folks and asked them if she could come by and pick up “Jimmy” and take him to Wednesday night prayer meeting with her. When asked if I wanted to go, “Sure, I’ll go” was my reply. I really liked Mrs. Susie Kate and all the way to Church she would tell me about the Lord and how much He loves me. When we arrived at the little country Church she took me around and, like the lady she was, introduced me to everyone…the proper way. I felt important to her and that meant a lot to me. She gave me a Bible one night at Church and encouraged me to read it. You see, Mrs. Susie Kate Taylor loved my soul, not just my mind. She was a rare breed; we need Susie Kate Taylors today. You don’t hear about teachers like her these days. Just today I was reading the headlines in the local paper about a teacher that was indicted for child molestation right here in our county. Yea, we need Susie Kate Taylors in our schools today.
The years slipped away and I grew into a young adult and pretty much forgot about Mrs. Susie Kate. Then, one day I heard that she had passed away. My thoughts went immediately to that little country Church where she had taken me on several occasions in my childhood. I thought surely that is where they will lay her to rest. God rest her soul. Did I mention she was a Christian lady? Yea, she was more than just an elementary teacher, she loved me.
Jesus tells a parable in the New Testament about a house being built on a solid rock and the winds and rains beat vehemently against it but could not move it. It has to have a good foundation to withstand the storms; yea, a good strong foundation. I thank God for the day He brought Mrs. Susie Kate Taylor into my life to be one of the many builders of my foundation. Did she teach me the three R’s, you bet she did, but she taught me so much more. She taught me things of eternal weight. She showed me the way to the Savior but she never pushed; she just pointed.
I wonder when the rewards are handed out in Glory what will she receive from the Lord. She deserves much, but that’s God business. Still, I’m sure she will wear a beautiful crown on her majestic head. I can’t wait to see her again. Yea, she was really something. Did I mention she was a Christian lady? Yessiree, she was a real Christian lady and my life is richer because God caused our paths to cross way back in 1959. It made an eternal difference in this old boy. Thank you Mrs. Taylor; I’ll see you in Heaven.