08 November 2010

You Made A Difference Award - Mrs. Who...

It has been really rough for the Lemon Stand household lately, nothing major, it's just the little things and it has only made life stressful because my husband has a TDY and went wheels up early last week.  He will be home in a couple of weeks but as any milspouse can tell you, being able to actually lay eyes on or sleep next to your spouse makes a big difference in your life.  You learn not to take things like that for granted and so it changes the way you look at life.  

Still, for me, some days it's a challenge to remember that adversity is just an opportunity... in disguise... waiting in a dark closet.  Many of those disguises can wring strong reactions from me.  The disguises, at times, can intimidate, terrorize, or shock me so it is no wonder the 'fight or flight' instinct kicks in.  It's like I step into a room and it is suddenly dark.  My instinct is to fight or run away before I ever think to look for the light switch.  When I do think to reach for that light switch, it feels like I need a step ladder, a flashlight or maybe both and then after the effort of getting the required items, it's only to find that the light switch is buried by other obstacles.  

Looking back, I see so many times where I should have been willing to ask for help and that it was pretty self-defeating in the end by not doing so.  Even though I have learned there really is a light switch, it's still hard to step back, take a deep breath, and take the time to look for it.  Of course, there are also times when I can find the switch only to find I can't figure out how to turn it on.  And because life is just that way, there are times when I can turn that light switch on, but it has illuminated just another obstacle.  Occasionally though...  it has  illuminated a possibility of something I had never dreamed of.  Never before considered.  Nor at the time had I realized that my trip into the emotional abysmal depths of the Mariana's Trench, was actually where I needed to be to learn a lesson or skill that would some day make a difference in my life or  someone else's.  As bad as some experiences are, they shape us into who we are and the experience gained is never left unused in our lives. For me, counting my blessings helps me take that step back to reevaluate my situation.  I've also found most blessings come from persons or places I never expected and unfortunately realize too late to be able to find a way to thank who or whatever was responsible for the experience in some way.

I don't know how many times or in how many variations I've ever written the following sentiment, but I absolutely believe that "Nobody in life gets to where they are going without help and the people who are helping often do not realize the impact they have on the other lives they come into contact with."  What, to them, seems small, minor or insignificant can be what someone else most needed and the person helping is almost never aware of the ripple created by their words or deeds.  

Now just in case you've never seen the movie "It's A Wonderful Life" (which, by the way, I feel should be a mandatory assignment for everyone who attends the school of life), I'm going to give a short synopsis.  The main character, George Bailey, reaches adulthood and he has his life goals laid out before him.  The plans with which he is going to make those goals a reality.  Due to events in his life, however, those plans are diverted to a road he'd never wanted to travel on.  He just kept trying to do what had to be done and then get back to pursuing his goals no matter the obstacles put in his way.  

Like most people, life happens, and he makes the best of it.  One day, life hands him a blow that brings him to his knees and he wishes he had never been born.  By way of his guardian angel, Clarence, he gets to see what would have happened to so many people had that wish been reality.  He has always looked on the ordinary, everyday happenings of his daily life as just mundane minutiae.  He thinks his small words and actions are not a big deal. He is shown just how wrong he is by being able to see how big the differences made in the lives he'd touched really were.

This is Monday  and I think it's the perfect day to begin my endeavor to count some of my blessings.  During the following days (with the exception of Veteran's Day), in no particular order, because they are all important to me, I want to let a few people know how, like George Bailey, their unknowing words or actions have affected so many others.  How they have affected me.  I guess you could say I collect my blessings in that I write many of them down so I can remember what they have meant to me.  When I have read or seen something that made me either think about life in a different light or made me appreciate sacrifices others have made, but are who are rarely thanked.  You, those unknowing individuals, are why these posts have taken me months to write.  I have collected moments from you that have started ripples upon the pool of life that you never see radiate out and reach far beyond your ken.
It is no secret that Mrs. Who of House of Zathras is a teacher.  Her blog is filled to the brim about the life of a teacher's family and not just any kind of teacher, but "one of those special people who have found their calling" kind of teacher.  Now I already knew this as we have known each other for quite a few years now.  You see, I know that she know's what an AF form 341 (think really hard Mrs Who and I'm sure it will come to you) is used for (it's truly a miscarriage of justice that you can't pull one from Professor Umbridge), that she has her very own DD214 (thank you for your military service), that she has a wonderful husband with a sometimes odd sense of humor and she has teenagers (let me know when the aliens bring back your real children... I need to have hope).  All of which sounds just like my house.

Mrs. Who, you wrote a post 'Why I Do It...' that made me wish all my kids could have had you for a teacher.  Your blog posts many times gives an incite into what it is like for the teachers of our children and the sacrifices they make, the things they put up with just because they really care about their students.  This one particular post allowed me to stand in your shoes to see what only you can see and it not only made you glad you were a teacher, it made me so very thankful that such teachers do exist.  Everyday you start ripples on the lives of every student you teach and their families and you probably will never see just how far and wide that ripple spreads.  But even if you only see it in a single boy's eyes every once in a while, that doesn't mean that you don't make a difference to each and every child entrusted into your care.  You make a difference every day to those you inspire with your dedication.  And if you ever doubt this, I have another blessing to tell tomorrow that shows the result of one teacher's impact on a single person's life...

Thank you Mrs. Who.  It's a wonderful life knowing you are in it.


  1. Oh my god. This post hit home with me. You explained how I've been feeling so perfectly when you wrote this part:

    "It's like I step into a room and it is suddenly dark. My instinct is to fight or run away before I ever think to look for the light switch. When I do think to reach for that light switch, it feels like I need a step ladder, a flashlight or maybe both and then after the effort of getting the required items, it's only to find that the light switch is buried by other obstacles. "


  2. Wonderful post!!! Once again you have made lemonade. I'll have a second glass please. :)

  3. I love Mrs. Who's blog for pretty much the same reasons. And for the fact that she's not afraid to show all sides of herself outside the classroom. Makes me wonder what kind of people some of my favorite teachers were outside the classroom as well.

  4. Oops, hit the "publish" button too quick.

    And like you said, it's also good to remember the impact that we may well have in the lives of others. That, more than anything else, is what keeps many of us going in this life.

  5. Meleah - Yeah. That's how I feel sometimes... just like a mushroom. :)

    Dazd - Next glass coming right up...

    Diamond Dave - I think that everyone has the ability to impact another's life and in this age of internet, the reach is exponential. It also works both ways. Those that that believe they are not responsible for what they say and how they say it on the internet because it provides anonymity, have the potential to do so much damage.

  6. Dammit...now my eyes are streaming. Thank you for making my day and reminding me that it is worth it.

  7. I remember that post of Mrs. Who's. Thank you for showing appreciation to a woman we all admire.

  8. Mrs. Who - The Thank You was for YOU and as you see, you have touched so many people that you KNOW, just remember the number for the UNKNOWN is much larger and just keeps getting larger as time passes and the ripple gets passed forward. And don't cry... you know how your eyes and nose swells up and looks red. The Rudolph look is not IN yet.

    Bob - Go over and thank her at HER virtual house. I just wrote what everyone else thinks. :)


Contents from normal neural synapsis goes here....
Should unnatural neural synapsis occur? Take one cherry chocolate Hershey Kiss and carry on.
Should NO neural synapsis occur? Take two full strength chocolate Hershey Kisses and
try again in the morning.