Monday, September 23, 2013

For the teachers

My mother passed away and I spent the weekend at her memorial service (hence the lack of posting). It was held in Texas -  in the town where I grew up but haven't visited since my grandparents died.

At the visitation the night before the memorial service, I was busy greeting family and friends - some of whom I hadn't seen in over over 30 years. A woman walked up to me and said, "You won't recognize me, but I'm Ms. Hodges - your 4th grade teacher." She didn't know if I would remember her - but boy do I! I've thought often about Ms. Hodges. She was tough - but we loved her because we knew she really cared about us. In other words, she made an impression that has lasted these last 50 years.

And there she was a few nights ago demonstrating why. We spent a few minutes talking about what kind of student I was back then and remembering how we'd spent the day in her classroom after we learned that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas.

One of the things I know about children is that their deepest longing is to feel special to someone. As tough as Ms. Hodges was, she made us all feel special. That's why I remember her. She made me feel that way again on Friday night...because we're all just children at heart, aren't we?

Thank you to Ms. Hodges and all the other teachers out there who make us feel special.


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss, Smartypants. Glad you're back. How lucky for you to have an instructor who made such an impression. You're special to us. Just sayin'.

  2. Deepest condolences and virtual hugs. Take very good care of yourself during the grieving process. You too are a teacher, you know that, don't you? Thanks for everything.

  3. So sorry to hear about your Mother. It's never easy to lose a loved one. Take care of yourself, and I will say a prayer for your Mom and for your teacher, some of them last with us a lifetime. ((((hugs)))).

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, be good to yourself and go with the flow as much as you're able. Grief is such a bumpy ride. I'm a daily lurker and so appreciate what you and all the Ms. Hodges' do to educate and support -- you're a testament to her philosophy. (Shout out to Mr. Matthews, my 4th grade teacher who influences me to this day!)

  5. I'm so sorry for the loss of your mother. May she rest in peace. You are in my thoughts and prayers. That's so nice that your teacher was there, and I'm sure she was happy that you remembered her and knowing that she had an impact on you.

  6. I would like to echo Pete's words from above, in their entirety!

  7. My condolences to you on your loss of your mother. Virtual hugs from me as well. Thank you for all you do.

  8. 'Afternoon, Ms. Pants

    JUST saw this.

    My most heartfelt and sincere condolences to you.

    SUCH a legacy she has in you.

  9. Condolences on your loss. As the daughter of now-gone public schoolteachers, thank you for this tribute and your fine writing and analysis.

  10. So sorry for your loss :( As a teacher of American History, I can only hope to be that kind of teacher. Thanks for sharing this during this very difficult time in your life.

  11. just saw this, I've been coming every day looking forward to hear what you're thinking, but didn't realized there was another post here. So sorry to hear about your mom. I was just saying to a friend that although I lost both of my parents before I was 21, I sometimes think it's harder on my friends who are losing parents after having them with them most of their lives. Many condolences.
    I too had teachers who made all the difference to me, and it amazes me when I think about what a brief time we had together, and what a huge impact they made.

  12. It's so hard to lose your mother, and I'm so sorry to hear that. Your comments about your teacher made me think of this, just in case you haven't seen it:

    I wish I could thank the teachers who meant this to me.


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