The other day I was listening to a speaker who reminded us to think back on a teacher who made a difference in our lives and reach out to thank them. This past year, as parents have had to take over remote learning, many people have come to realize that teachers have incredibly difficult jobs. Many pour their hearts and souls into their work every day, shaping lives.
Both my parents were teachers and it was clear they had touched many lives throughout their careers. In the last years of their lives, many students reached out to thank them and tell them how they had a significant impact on them.
Unfolding at the Right Time
The universe has a way of unfolding with messages at just the right time. This became evident in my mother’s last few months of life. Miles from home, she went to the hospital for a biopsy of her lung. The first nurse caring for her introduced herself and said, “You probably don’t remember me, but I had you for English.” Once in the surgical suite, another nurse came to her side and said, “Mrs. Fixmer, it’s me, Amy. You were my favorite teacher. Don’t worry, I’m going to stay with you for your biopsy.” This happened several times during her hospitalization. Former students seemed to be climbing out of the woodwork to tell her how she impacted their lives.
This was no coincidence. She had been diagnosed with cancer during this hospitalization and this was the universe sending reminders that, although life would be coming to an end, she was leaving behind a legacy through her students.
One week later, we had to travel once again for an early morning PET scan. On the way, I talked with mom about how wonderful it was that all these students were showing up in her life and reminding her the legacy she had left. When we arrived, the woman at registration greeted us politely, ran through the typical registration questions, and then said, “You probably don’t remember me, but I had you for English. You were my all-time favorite teacher”. Mom thanked her, then turned to me with tears in her eyes and said, “This just cannot be a coincidence. It’s such an amazing gift to see these wonderful people and to know that I somehow contributed to their lives.”
It didn’t stop there. Two of her doctors were also former students and helped care for her.
Every teacher deserves to know that they change lives. My mom was blessed to have so many tell her how she had made a difference for them. Reach out and let a teacher know how they made a difference in your life.Tags: gratitude, Patient Experience