Last week I had the opportunity to speak at Keene High School in Keene, New Hampshire. The main focus of my school-wide assembly is on respect, responsibility, and gratitude. I talked with the students and teachers about how important it is to appreciate the people in your life and to let those close to you know how much you love them.
That evening I received an e-mail from one of the teachers. I was so moved by her story and what she shared with me that I went back to the school the next day to thank her. I gave her a hug and let her know how touched I was by her words and her attitude on the incredible loss she and her children had to recently face.
I asked her if I could share with you what she wrote to me on my blog. She agreed. I hope that you are reminded, as I was, about how important it is to appreciate everyday and say I love you.
Here is her e-mail.
I have been teaching at KHS for 18 years. Today, I was lucky enough to accompany my senior Women’s Literature class to your presentation. It turned into the perfect segue to a service project we’re doing, but more than that, it brought up a lot for me.
It was hard hearing some of the words about loss and never knowing when, because tomorrow will be eight months from the date the a police officer showed up at my door, telling my two elementary-aged kids and myself that my husband died in a winter-related car accident on the way to work.
The thing is, I have always been so very grateful for that last weekend we spent together. Two days before was our 17th wedding anniversary, and we spent it at a wonderful love-filled couples’ party. The day before was family day, with a trip to an IMAX movie and a family game of laser tag.
Most importantly, however, is that because it was Martin Luther King Day and the kids and I were home from school, that morning we all kissed goodbye, ALL exchanged I Love Yous. My kids and I do not have to fear he didn’t know or wish we said it.
I hope all of those kids (and the teachers in the audience too) take your message to heart. Not only should they pay it forward, not bully, stick up for others, and in essence make the world a better place, but they should shout their I Love Yous from the rooftops. Maybe, because of your words today, some of them will.
Blessings and Gratitude,
Keene High School English teacher