Retired But Not Forgotten


Photo by Chalmers Butterfield

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.”

Click here to see all my posts featuring my life stories.


If you feel more stressed than blessed . . . if you have more confusion than clarity about how to live your beliefs . . . if you long to live a richer, happier, more meaningful life . . . you will find a wealth of insight and guidance in Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World.

Through God’s Eyes is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the only book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.

Readers everywhere are discovering that when you challenge yourself to look through God’s eyes, the world around you changes, and so do you.

Who will benefit from reading Through God’s Eyes?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to be.
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to.
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier.

Click here to order your copy of Through God’s Eyes from
For an inscribed copy, click here to e-mail Phil for information.

Click here to visit the Through God’s Eyes website.

Click on the link below to download a FREE 28-page chapter!

Click here to read endorsements from authors and thought leaders.

Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers.

Click here to ask Phil to add you to his e-mail list for updates on his blog and books.

Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.

Like to learn more about Through God’s Eyes? Here is a free 44-page PDF sampler from the book that includes:

• 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!

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’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents.

Order it at

In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• How do you reconcile the “free will vs. Divine Will” conundrum?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?

Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.

sixty-seconds-coverPhil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent authors and thought leaders he interviewed. The roster of storytellers includes Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, Larry Dossey, Rachel Naomi Remen, Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish, and Christiane Northrup. Sixty Seconds has been translated into four languages: Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. 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 order Sixty Seconds.

Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.

Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers.

Here is a three-minute video introduction to Sixty Seconds.

Tags: , , ,

4 Responses to “Retired But Not Forgotten”

  1. Natasha Acres Says:

    Totally agree Phil, these people shape our lives and make us who we are. We’ve just launched a new site to recognise these type of people and my own personal experience of my inspiring teacher is here:

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Good idea, Natasha! Thanks for doing what you’re doing!

  3. Beth Tickanen Says:

    When I was about 30, I wrote letters to four teachers who had truly made a difference in my life. It felt a little awkward, as I wasn’t certain if they’d even remember me…but they all did. It was truly the right time to do this, as one of those teachers passed away just several months later. She had always been my favorite, and it was a blessing to know that she was aware of just how much she meant to me.

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    I’m so glad you did that, Beth. I bet it meant a lot to your teachers. And I know it meant a lot to you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 471 other followers

%d bloggers like this: