Revelations exist around us everywhere. Often I realize this simply by looking at thing differently, and sadly, this is not usually owed to me, to to experiences around me and those around me that open new lenses to see life through. Today particularly, I am referring someone named Nancy Carmean Fields.
As odd as this sounds, as an English teacher, I was taught literary devices to use and apply to the world around us. And I did, as well as teaching others to recognize and do the same. Yet, as I looked at so many individuals that were touched by Mrs. Fields during her memorial today, so much sunk it. It seemed those literary devices that existed truly were present to be applied in life at any time, not just when you were learning them a specific period in time.
Light as a butterfly in suggestion, yet as heavy as a weight in inspiration. As I watched the images of nature and a scrolling film showing a lifetime of happiness at Mrs. Field’s service today, it was all there that really was worth learning. I flashed back to the countless times on initially meeting Mrs. Fields, and it was on the racing course I believe, or it even could have been in a classroom. The clarity came when you literally felt the presence that Mrs. Fields left with each individual. Without a word, you would receive a look – a look that peered into your very soul and immediately had you feeling as if an lifetime of encouragement was always there for the taking. When you talked to Mrs. Fields, you received an onrush of confidence and just enough positivity, that no matter where you were in wanting to do better, or feeling you did not give it your all, you were infused with feeling of possibility, of promise, of another chance being available. Mrs. Fields never, ever gave up on anyone, whether you had come to know her through an athletic, educational, or by association of another, yet the motivation and trust in you as and individual was always there.
I am not exactly sure when I accepted the running bug for sure, but when I did, I looked to the coaches to push me, the participants to move me, and then there was always Mrs. Fields. Even after her son Tim went through the “running system”, the power the Mrs. Fields had to always offer a home on and off the course, it remained. I thought the coaches, the drills, the Adrenalin, the feeling of goals being met and smashed, would always be the keys to longevity. After making running on the track and cross country courses, I realized all this time Mrs. Fields and her family had infused so much – family. That was always present; as an athlete, spectator, coach, educator, and wannabe spectator, I realized whenever I had those good, and bad times, Mrs. Fields was the chief coach that inspired in countless ways I never had realized before. That is the who Mrs. Fields is, the longevity on the support she was willing to provide, there was and is no expiration date.
Supporting picnic baskets and coolers full of food that provided essentials and staples of energy for athletes (and coaches) on far and near meets and truly being an all around sports Mom was certainly one side of Mrs. Fields. I will never truly forget literally down to less than a week of leaving for Mexico, the Fields’ family insisting and creating a gathering of some of the most memorable individuals I had been lucky enough to call “family”, ranging from dear friends and former students, family members, all sending me off with a summer picnic/going away bash. it was unforgettable, as was the infused confidence that Mrs. Fields always had in the wait for anyone that came within her circle of need.
Add to this the very fact that the very difficult decision to return to the states, after creating a family of so close-knit individuals in Mexico, after six years and knowing inside how internally I was connected with so many individuals that had accepted me, yet part of this decision was easy. When events began to occur facing me that proximity was necessary for changes happening in my own family, just as the moment of leaving and the Fields’ family was there to initiate a goodbye worthy of royalty, Mrs. Fields was the lifeline that brought me back. It was her suggestions of a possible opening that enabled me to pursue the possibility of really returning to where I had started, and fitting perfectly into the window of enabling me to see my amazing brother before events would take him from me. Mark this off as coincidence, great timing, but those of you that are well familiar with Mrs. Fields will know that little has to do with coincidence when it comes to an explanation as this. At one time we both were in a different school district, and within months, we found ourselves in a different district, yet in the same.
I was intensely, superbly lucky to have found myself returning under such conditions. I remember many times within the too short time we worked in the same district proximity, dropping of a simple meal of McDonalds items I had a hunch she liked as a tiny appreciation of thanks, and there she was, STILL supporting and helping me as I was transitioning through a difficult transition back after so long, and doing what she always did, providing her open door, her open arms for the support that she never asked for in return, but gave out as if her style of optimism was available at every corner. Be it Mexico to the state of Delaware, it is obvious her impact has no boundaries whatsoever, no matter in what capacity she found herself in.
There is one story that is completely worth mentioning and connects with the spirit of promise that Mrs Fields always dealt out. When I first left for Mexico, I left without a vehicle for obvious reasons – going outside the United States into Mexico for the first time, and learning what I would be able to do and not be able to do would take some time for sure. My vehicle graciously was being stored at the Fields’ residence and after two years, blindingly willing to tune this vehicle to make the drive TO Mexico – I remember coming home and picking it up after two plus years of not driving, and sliding into the Mercury Mountaineer, everything came back. The piling of Cross Country runners into the back for the ride to Chapel, countless adventures. Mr. Fields had brought it back to a brand new status mechanically and then some.
This is evident as the drive to Mexico was full of the unknown and little did I know, two other subsequent drives back and forth from Mexico City to Delaware, not one single incident occurred due to the meticulous care Mr. Fields had put into this vehicle. Even when I returned on the drive back with three dogs and three cats and loaded with items, with gaskets that were just not quite right and firing (occurring in Texas) – I found myself believing the spirit that the Fields’ family easily let me get back in that condition due to the positivity that had been given from the very beginning. I realized this was not just a gift of the time, effort and skill put into the Mountaineer, but also on that long four day and sometimes very (human lonely, not pet-lonely) drive returning to the states, the Fields’ were with me and all those memories scrolled with me the whole way back.
There are many reasons I decided to hold onto the Mercury Mountaineer, even with faced on selling it in Mexico across the border and purchasing a new vehicle, I just could not. I cling to the memories that have been created with that Mercury Mountaineer, and from that being the defining vehicle that started my experience in Delaware, to the moment that I was so taken care of by so many, that vehicle is certainly is worth more than any blue book value or trade in on any vehicle. Monetary is there but there is much much more valuable in life.
So yes, I had been asked countless times to call Mrs. Fields, Nancy, countless times. Maybe due to the fact that she did NOT want to be associated with baking hundreds of cookies for the masses. However, when I say Mrs. Fields, I think of the Fields’ family as a whole, and that means everything for what the whole family has done and has continued to do for me to this very day. I can still recall the sounds mu my breath often thinking it was at it’s peak and hearing her encouragement, both sometimes yelling for support on the sidelines and at times a calm voice of reason, both Mrs. and Mr. Fields words of encouragement played in my ears, on the course alone, with others, on the drive from Mexico. Replaying the conversations of admiration for her son and daughters accomplishments over and over, you knew you had someone of grit, substance, and support with every single conversation.
Her love for her family is legendary, and the family that she took in on a daily basis, is a lesson for everyone every single day. So much like literary devices that ran through my mind today of all the moments she gave to others, proved to me that much around Mrs. Fields existed, BECAUSE of her willingness to sacrifice so much of herself for others. That is a legacy that changes people, families, communities, and the world. it is absolutely, 100% positively true, All you need is Love. I am one of a million affected and touched by what sheer kindness, compassion, and motivation can do and get you thrugh with laying aside all selfishness, prejudice, and grudges. That needs to be a testament to what can be as we support each other just as so many countless times – not blinders and guards to hold us back from any of our dreams. That is Mrs. Fields.