Charley’s World Episode Twenty-Four

The challenges that Charley had seen in the other adult learners, especially Sam and Richie, were not there with Missy.  She was enthusiastic about learning. In fact, Charley wasn’t even sure why she even needed the Learning Center until he got to know her better.

Missy was everyone’s best friend. Normally Charley associated those with beauty as being stuck on themselves, but that was not the case with Missy. She went out of her way to support others. In fact, her willingness to reach out and support others led her to the Learning Center.

“My homeroom teacher told me that I would be a shoo-in for homecoming queen, but I had a problem. My grades weren’t high enough to qualify. I guess I let my grades slip. When I would help others, I often didn’t do my own work.”

Charley also discovered that Missy’s outgoing nature was really a mask. Her home life was a struggle. Both parents were diabetic, and she just discovered that her mother had gluten intolerance. Neither parent understood their diet restrictions very well so Missy had to be the “watch dog” for what they ate. This often led to family conflict. Missy became the food shopper to ensure that the food items were compatible with their diet restrictions.

Missy also followed both a diabetic and gluten free diet. This often led to times when she just didn’t have the energy she needed. She was giving to her friends, but not herself. Charley would often see her struggling just to stay awake.

Bea and Gloria also became concerned about Missy and tried to help her. Both of them were aware of her family struggles. They would bring snacks hoping they would help Missy sustain the energy she needed. These did help.

Missy’s grades began to improve and she was likely to meet the qualifications for the homecoming queen contest, but all of that became less important when the wife of one of Charley’s former cross country teammates visited the Learning Center.

* * *

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”   – Pablo Picasso