Have you ever remembered someone from your past who was a part of your life very briefly, but did something for you that you never got a chance to fully thank them for? I’m not really talking about the people who are in your life long term like close friends and family. These are people who you find time (hopefully) to thank and share how much you appreciate them. I’m talking about the people who touch you in a way you don’t have time to stop and think about until it’s too late. Lately, these types of things have been coming to mind, and I’d like to take a moment to share my thank yous.
Sarah, Senior Cheerleader. As one of only 2 freshman on the squad, it was easy to feel intimidated and even left out some of the time. You took me under your wing, and invited me to my first football after-party (nothing wild and crazy, this was a parent-hosted event where kids met up for pizza after the game). You drove me (always a big deal for a freshman to have transportation that didn’t involve their parents), and told me you liked my outfit, even though I had grabbed the first thing I could find in my closet. I needed something like this to show me that I was going to have a miserable high school experience if I didn’t put myself out there.
The stranger who stopped on I-74 in SE Indiana. I was driving back from holiday break and had unexplainably lost control of my car and spun across two lanes of traffic before ending up in the median. I was both terrified and confused. Not only had I almost gotten hit by a truck, but the weather was fine so I wasn’t sure what had caused the near miss. Every other car sped on by, but you stopped. You ran across the highway to see if I was okay, you gave me a big hug while I cried, and you waited with me until Highway Patrol showed up to make sure I could get back on the road safely. I really needed your comfort in that moment, but I feel like I was so shaken up, I never got the chance to adequately explain how much your kindness meant. So thank you. You were my angel that day.
Connor, Middle School Classmate. You were one of the “cool kids,” but you were kind to everyone, which I always appreciated. And when the status-defining time of Candygram giving came on Valentine’s Day, you got one of the extra ones from student council and gave it to me, because I was afraid I wouldn’t get any. I’ve never forgotten that. It was such a small gesture, for something so superficial, but at the time, it made me feel special. Thank you for showing the world that we’re all equals, despite what some people would have us believe.
Professor Beasley, who showed me that my writing had something to offer. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I was always the “math kid,” so after some less than enthusiastic reviews from other writing teachers, I assumed I was just missing the creative gene. Luckily, your class was different. You encouraged us to break rules and write exactly the way we wanted to write. To this day, the papers I wrote in your class are my favorite things I’ve ever written. In a way, you probably gave me the confidence to start my blog. I may not have a thousand readers, but the few followers I have seem to enjoy it. Most importantly, I enjoy it. So thanks for doing what a really good teacher does- encouraging and inspiring. You rock.