When my friend Marie heard I was going to be visiting my mom at the health care center where she was recuperating from knee replacement surgery, she asked if I would visit Miss Neary, her fourth-grade teacher, who lived in the senior apartments in the same facility. Miss Neary, Marie told me, was her favorite teacher and was still sharp as a tack.
So when I arrived at the facility on Sunday, I made a point to stop by Miss Neary’s apartment. She was delighted to have a visitor and proudly informed me that she was ninety-six, going on ninety-seven. Marie was right, Miss Neary’s mind was indeed sharp; when I asked if she remembered Marie, she smiled and said she remembered all her students form her forty-four years of teaching. Indeed, she told me that the daughter of her neighbor, Mrs. Teske, had been best friends with Marie.
Miss Neary asked if I would give something to Marie: a recent community newspaper that featured a story on her and Delphine, the woman who lived down the hall from where we sat. It turned out that Miss Neary’s new neighbor was an old high school friend from the class of 1932! After all these years, they had found each other and had renewed their friendship. Miss Neary scribbled a note to Marie along with her phone number on the front page of the paper and affixed a return address sticker to it. I promised her I would deliver it to Marie.
As I placed my hand on Miss Neary’s and thanked her for a nice visit, I couldn’t help but think about the countless senior citizens who spend so much of their time in solitude, eager and grateful for any contact with the outside world.
I especially thought of teachers, who are often lauded as the true heroes of society. Yet, my guess is that most retired teachers don’t hear from their former students very often. I encourage you to take a few minutes to let a favorite teacher know that you’ve never forgotten her friendly smile and her kind words.
I’m betting that your note or phone call will mean a lot to her, probably more than you’ll ever know. She made a difference in your life; now you can make a difference in hers.
UPDATE: Marie let me know that Miss Neary passed away on Thanksgiving Day, 2011, at the age of ninety-eight. In her e-mail to me, Marie wrote, “What an impact she had on my life.”
ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier
Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.
Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.