In honor of Teacher Appreciation Day, I would like to thank those who have impacted my life and taught me the most valuable lessons, both academic and life. Let me begin with the teachers from the academic realm.
Mr. Kopreski was my senior year AP English teacher. He taught me the value of the written word and the impact it can have on others. His encouragement has led to a life long love of literature and writing for which I will be forever grateful.
At the elementary level, I will forever remember Mrs. Allen. At the end of my 4th grade year she presented each of us with a book. Mine was The Island of the Blue Dolphins. It remains to this day one of my favorite stories. In addition to this gift, she was the one to comfort me and counsel me through my parents divorce. She did what all good teachers did and taught the whole child and realized that until my soul was patched up, my learning would take a back burner. She taught me to be a compassionate teacher.
I can not go any further with this post until I mention the most influential teachers in my life- my family. My mother taught me that real women cry, laugh, hang curtains, hold babies, sing lullabies, hug, and are strong. I am so lucky to have an independent, beautiful, supportive mother who has picked me up at my lowest and stood by me at my highest. Beside her was a man who came into our lives and loved us as his own. He coached us, joked with us, and raised us to be strong minded, hard workers. My Dad and Step-mom have taught me that slowing down and homemade is a wonderful way to go. Be it through gardening (though I hated picking the veggies as a teenager) or family meals quality time is important. My siblings each have faced demons and struggles and yet have all shown me what a force grace and determination can be. The obstacles they have over come be it addiction, challenges in marriages or with children, or physical injuries have shaped them into the people they are today. I have learned through them that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger more loving people.
My Nanny and Papa have taught me the importance of faith and grace in the belief that God is good and always there for me. Their love story has spanned more than 60 years, produced 5 children, and dozens of grandchildren and great grandchildren. I am inspired by every facet of their time together from struggling to raise kids and put my grandfather through college to the daunting and sad effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. The unwavering faith they have in each other and God is breathtaking.
My husband has given me the gift of love and taught me to trust in others again. He is nothing short of an savior to me and my 2 little girls. He has from day one loved us unconditionally. He has shown me what it is to be loved and cherished and for that I will be eternally grateful. I am so thankful to have a wonderful partner to spend my days and raise our kids with.
My children have taught me that life gets messy, can’t be planned, is loud, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. My two little girls taught me the meaning of love at first sight. That truly unconditional love does exist and when it hits you it is awe inspiring. My three amazing step kids taught me that regardless of how a child becomes yours it creates a powerful connection that can not fully be described.
My best friend Becky, has taught me that some bonds are meant to be regardless of DNA. She has taught me that true friends don’t care if you are wearing make up or have even showered- when you need a hug you need a hug! She along with many of the other inspiring “teachers” have seen me at my worst, wiped tears, talked until we were blue, and helped me get back to the best me I can be. She has counseled me through a divorce and walked me down the aisle at my wedding. A girl can’t get a better friend than that!
Thank you to all the “teachers” that have helped make me the woman, mother, wife, friend, daughter, sister, teacher, person I am today.