You know that teacher who left a positive, lasting impression? I was fortunate enough to have a handful of them. It's not a private, charter, or well-known school, but Kentwood Elementary (in Westchester, Los Angeles) was a sanctuary for me and many. The teachers cared so much that they still do - decades later. We're still their "kids." They follow our progress and dips. They cheer for and support us. They express their pride and concern, to this day.
Several years ago, I reconnected on Facebook with my former third grade Teacher. She suggested a reunion when I next visit LA. I kept saying "yes, I'll plan something." But I kept not following through until I decided it was time. We need to appreciate people while they're still with us, after-all.
We made a date and agreed that even if it would only be the two of us, it'd be great. Look what happened! Party of 40!
My wonderful third grade teacher 45 years ago, sits at the head of the table. Two people to her left, my former sixth grade teacher. (I'm halfway down the row to the right. My brother's between my former sixth grade teacher and the woman in the orange shirt. My sis is two people to the right of me).
It's very fulfilling to honor people who played an instrumental role in my becoming the person I am. The chatter, re-connections, new connections, and love that filled the room has helped keep me afloat ever since.
After a scary car drive home from LA to Chico (with "!" light on for a bulk of the journey, proceeding my having been stranded in Lost Hills with an overheated engine), it was time to breakup with Luna. She'd taken me all over for 15 years, 191,000 miles worth of rides. Our final trek having been what it was, though, compelled me trade her for a younger, prettier model.
Meet Charm (my third car). She's a toddler. It wasn't love at first site, but I'm falling quickly. We've been together for 4 days now.