By Linda Emley
I have a friend that always says, “Everything happens for a reason.” I would like to say I believe this but sometimes it’s hard to understand why bad things happen to good people.
Every time I start to doubt the events in my life, I have one of those days where everything just falls into place and I know that everything really does happen for a reason. I had one of those days a few weeks ago.
Each Friday, I have lunch with the Richmond Rotary Club. We have two long tables set up and I try to mix up where I sit so I can get to know all our members.
I’m usually running late, so I don’t always get to pick my seat. But a few weeks ago, I walked in and Connie Taylor was sitting at the end of one of the table by herself, so I joined her. When the meeting started, we were still the only two people sitting at our table. This doesn’t happen very often so we both laughed and started eating our lunch.
It seemed like a normal meeting, but then it was announced that two members were going to receive a Paul Harris Fellowship. This is something we do on a regular basis, but it’s definitely not done at every meeting.
When $1,000 is contributed to The Rotary Foundation, a request can be made for an individual to be recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow. When a person is recognized, he or she is presented with a certificate signed by the Rotary International President and the chairman of the Trustees of The Rotary Foundation, a lapel pin and a medallion.
Connie and I had both just taken a bite of lunch when it was announced that we were the two getting the Paul Harris Fellowship. It was an honor to share this special event with Connie.
After our Rotary meeting, I stopped by Connie’s office at the Ray County’s Women’s Resource Center for a short visit. I
had attended the grand opening of this office, but there were so many people present I didn’t get to tour the center.
Connie and I talked and shared our own personal stories. When I left, I realized that there really was a reason why I sat by Connie that day because we shared a very special event that we will never forget.
A few days ago, Connie called me and asked if I would help with a program that she had coming up. I told her I would be glad to.
On Thursday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m., the Ray County Women’s Resource Center is celebrating the National Sanctity For Human Life Day at the Ray County Veteran’s Building. The public is invited to attend this free event and a dessert bar will be offered along with a musical program, testimonies and a guest speaker.
I don’t sing, but I do have a story to share. If you would like more information, please contact Connie at 816-520-7828.
I’m sure some of you are thinking what does this have to do with history? The Ray County Women’s Resource Center is making history because it is the first of its kind in our county. There have been times in our past when women needed someone to talk to when they were faced with an unplanned pregency.
I’ve spent the last 40 years listening to people share their stories, and several women have shared with me stories about their personal struggles.
One dear little old lady lost her only son when he was in his early 30s. She sadly told me that she wished she hadn’t lost her other babies. She then told me how they delt with an unplanned pregency. They didn’t have birth control and things were different back then. Another story was about a young lady who died when she went to a doctor to get an abortion.
We are lucky we live in a modern world where women have resources and can find someone like Connie Taylor and her women’s center to share their thoughts and concerns.
This story is dedicated to all the women from Ray County’s past, present and future. May we all look to the future with hope that no one will ever have to suffer in silence again because now we have a place where we can find some of the answers we are looking for.
Thank you Bruce and Connie Taylor for all your hard work on this very special project.
You can write Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her in person at Ray County Museum or Friday Rotary Club meetings.