In the fall of 2000, our family had a need for new changes in our lives. My husband Murray likes to say, “Kathy and I both applied for jobs, and to my delight, she found one first.”
God had given me the gift of staying home with our children, five by this time, for nine years, while Murray worked as an occupational therapist. Now, I found a job as a rehabilitation teacher for the blind, and Murray got to be the stay-at-home parent while he attended graduate school.
I was willing, but I was scared.
It had been eleven years since I worked outside the home and nine years since I’d traveled by myself.
As a blind person, all this filled my insides with turmoil.
Could I actually perform the requirements of a professional job? Could I take a bus and a commuter train to work alone?
We had lived for a year in New York. One night before I started work, I lay awake, terrified, thinking of the subways in New York City. What had I agreed to?
Ready or not, go!
On October 19, 2000, I started work as a rehabilitation teacher for the blind. I’d received a master’s degree in how to do this, but that was nine years ago.
The first day I taught someone to cook, I knocked on my boss’s door, while she was in a meeting, and asked her if it was okay if I had the student make hotdogs for lunch.
Riding the bus? Climbing on a train? Walking down city streets and finding where I needed to be?
Interacting with other professionals and meeting the needs of my students?
Even after I’d worked at this job for almost twelve years, I still felt nervous in the morning.
But in the fall of 2000, I took my first steps.
No, it wasn’t New York City, though many blind people, with more confidence than mine, do travel independently there.
God helped me make friends on the bus and train, many of them Christians. Sometimes I got lost, but I always ended up where I needed to be. I began to enjoy my early morning walks to the bus.
God brought me into contact with many Christians at work too. And after a while, I felt more at home in the job.
I taught independent living skills to people who were visually impaired. This included cooking, housework, organization, and simply teaching my students that they could still be competent, and confident, in their daily lives. Laughter was a crucial technique we used in our office.
Teaching braille reading and writing, as well as typing and keyboarding skills, were the lessons I grew to love most. Both the interactions with the students as well as developing my own lessons.
God even gave me peace of mind as I sat in meetings and had to share with other professionals.
In 2000, I’d become awfully comfortable staying at home, caring for my children and taking care of household needs. I could not imagine success in this scary world I was walking into.
But did I find joy in this experience? Am I glad I took the chance? Oh, yes. And such lovely memories.
Kathy McKinsey grew up on a pig farm in Missouri, and although she’s lived in cities for nearly 40 years, she still considers herself a farm girl.
She’s been married to Murray for 32 years, and they have five adult children.
She’s had two careers before writing—stay-at-home-Mom and rehabilitation teacher for the blind.
Now she lives in Lakewood, Ohio with her husband and two of her children. Besides writing, she enjoys activities with her church, editing for other writers, braille transcribing, crocheting, knitting, and playing with the cat and dog. You can connect with her at www.kathymckinsey.com.
Kathy’s new release is coming October 22nd! And she is giving away an ebook copy to one lucky blog reader! To enter, simply leave a comment for Kathy below. I will draw a winner on Wednesday, September 18th, 2019.
Ruthie says Millie will love Christmas. Ruthie is Millie’s best friend, so she’s sure Ruthie’s right, but why does Millie keep finding Ruthie and her brother Jake crying?
Millie, an orange kitten, shares about her first Christmas. Her best friend Ruthie, six years old, teaches Millie about Christmas—food, decorations, music, presents, and Jesus!
Millie’s friend Bruce, the family dog, also helps her celebrate Christmas, and sometimes gets her in trouble.
When Ruthie’s big brother Jake breaks his ankle, Millie learns about sad things, like divorce, when Jake can’t visit his mommy for Christmas. Millie watches Ruthie’s family love each other through the sadness, and find joy in Christmas.
Share this story with a child you love, struggling with sadness at Christmas. Jesus’ love and truth remain solid.
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