It never ceases to amaze me how a life can influence others in very significant ways even if the time spent with them is brief. I had a fifth grade teacher who inspired me to read and write poetry. I’ve done it ever since. When I was eleven, a famous golfer came and visited with me at the Children’s Home. She talked to me about my life’s goals, and told me she believed in me. Her visit lasted 30 minutes. She left behind a box of medals she had won. My name was on it. It was her way of telling me I was a champion too. I cherished her for that. Forty years later, I can still remember the color of her hair and eyes, the way her smile crinkled up her face, and the color of the clothes she wore. When I was 21, I was able to thank her in person for all she had done for me. I saw she was playing in a tournament in Dallas, Texas. I called where she was staying, and she left a ticket for me to get into the Women’s Golf Tournament. During a break, she walked with me and I reiterated what her visit had meant to me and how she had given me the courage to get a college degree so many years ago.
When I was in my late 30’s, I met a woman who became my best friend. She was a social worker. I had just entered grad school to get a professional degree. She was a mentor and taught me a lot about the profession. She became like family and became a big part of my son’s life. She gave me a kind of stability I had never had before and taught me some valuable life skills. Thirty years later, we are still friends. She has influenced my life in very significant ways.
About two years ago, I came in contact with someone who had taken the time to read my poetry, articles, etc. She suggested I blog since I had retired. I was not good with computers. It meant having to read tons of information in computer language. Every time I got discouraged, she would give me a pep talk. There were many pep talks. She believed in me and my abilities. I can never thank her enough for having faith in me.
There are many people who come into our lives. Some stay for a short time and others stay for a while. They influence us positively or negatively. We, influence them. Even those we see for an hour and never see again. We often think we gave them nothing. Later, we can see them in a store, and they come up to us and tell us how much we helped them, that their lives are better because of us. There is nothing like the feeling you get when you become aware that you had touched someone’s life and it mattered.