I was 16 when my grandmother died. I’ve written in this space before about that overwhelming grief, but a specific memory came to mind this morning, that I hadn’t thought too much of, until now.
The night of my grandmother’s visitation, the line was quite literally out the door. There was no denying the profound impact her life had on those that were blessed to know her. She taught French at the same high school for over 30 years.
I remember my teenage self standing in a row with my family, my heavy heart and introverted mind exhausted from speaking with all of the people who had come to pay their respects.
That’s when my eyes caught a glimpse of someone I hadn’t seen in years… my preschool teacher. Her soft and beautiful presence instantly shattered the wall around my heart that I had erected to make it through the evening. I crumbled into her welcoming arms and sobbed for what had to have been the better part of a minute. I don’t even remember what she said to me, I just remember it felt good and comforting when she hugged me.
Why? As I said before, it had been years since I had seen Ms. Linda Pittman. Years.
This woman had been one of the first in my life to impact my heart, mold my mind and teach me to be kind. I don’t remember much from preschool, but I do remember her voice, her smile and the way she made my little heart feel.
With all of my education on child development, this lasting connection makes sense neurologically, but it wasn’t logic that caused me to sob in my preschool teacher’s arms that evening. It was the secure attachment that she intentionally formed with me all of those years ago.
I should tell you that this memory was provoked by an ice cream date my children and I had with their preschool teacher this week. As I watched Ms. Amber interact with Lucy (almost 8), and Abby (5) my heart was bursting with gratitude for this woman, who so freely gives of herself day in and day out to curious 4 and 5 year olds. She’s adored, and cherished, and not just by my family, but by hundreds of families. She may never fully know and understand the “good work” that she does each day, but I know without a shadow of a doubt, that her life’s work is written on the hearts of our two girls, and so many others.
Thank you to the late Ms. Pittman, and Ms. Amber, and every other person who has the calling to work with young children, may you be blessed this school year, and may God give you all that you need to fulfill this great calling.
Gratefully abiding today,