M ORGAN O IL COMPANY
Celebrating 85 years tell us as much as how we feel in their presence, who we come to believe we might be or become if some real, genuine, caring human being treats us with respect and lets us know we matter. Human beings like Rev. Gaver remind us that, as flawed and unfinished as we are, we can help to set people free to live lives worth living.
Choosing To Live Later in the summer of 1958, I saved enough money to travel by train to Key West and for $28 fly to Cuba to visit a student friend, Thomas E. Besosa, and his family. In Cuba at that time, Fidel Castro and his guerillas were fighting to overthrow the oppressive and brutal rule of Batista. I found myself being joyful and alive among the Cuban people. Thus, when it was time to leave, I prayed that Castro would bomb the Havana airport so I wouldn't be able to return. (I learned years later Castro had no planes.) Returning to my family home was more threatening to me than being in a war zone. Back in the states, I became seriously depressed and, when Stetson University invited me to return to school and help me financially, I prepared to leave.
My mother, who had looked to me to take care of her and be her confidant since I was very young, wept, begged me not to return to college and insisted she "could not go on" if I left. The morning the taxi arrived to take me to the train station, I heard my sister screaming as I was getting in the cab. I ran into the house and found my mother collapsed on the floor, bleeding profusely from a cut on her forehead. She and my sister were crying and begging me to stay, yelling "You say you're a caring person but you're not. You don't care about anyone!" I was speechless and then I heard myself saying, "I'm sorry. If I stay here I'm going to die. If I don't leave I will never have a life." And I returned to Stetson. I felt guilty for years, even ashamed, while also knowing that speaking the words rising up from somewhere deep inside me, I had chosen to live and seek out a larger world and a larger self. Lesson 4: Having to say goodbye to live. Caring about others is not about sacrificing the life you've been given to take care of others who want you to stay in a life that is no life at all. It's a fact that we cannot make others change in order for them to wake up and live. It's been said that the
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