It is Never too Late

Have you ever had that person in your life that at the time you didn’t quite appreciate? The one who years and days after they moved on you were finding yourself remorseful because you never expressed your appreciation?

This week I learned, it is never too late to tell them what they meant to you and why.

In fact sharing what you remember about them may brighten their day. It may remind them of the greater impact they had.

It just so happened that I ran into this individual this week. It is the one individual whose absence I’ve regularly expressed as a ‘huge loss’ in our school. I shared how this individual actually cared about what we, the teachers, were doing both in and out of the classroom. She would eat lunch with us. She would great us as we entered. She would leave cute little “I heard you did….this weekend, great job!” notes on our door. It was never too late to post those.

At the time I didn’t realize how awesome these actions were. I didn’t understand how important it was for me, a newer teacher, to know that people cared about my life. I now realize, it is never too late.

In fact, I was trying to make sure my personal life didn’t drip into my professional life. Often I was horrified to see my name on the board in the faculty room. I lived in a fear that people knowing what I did outside of school would think that I wasn’t as good at school because I was doing these other things. That I wasn’t ‘giving my all’ to students because I had other focus.

The reality was, my other focus were what propelled me to really be awesome for the kids. By her acknowledging these foci they were building me bridges where the students and I could meet to discuss life and other stuff.

Once this individual left, no one noticed. No one cared. The individual that took her place is too busy to care about what we, teachers of the ‘normal’ students, are doing; nonetheless to care about what we do out of school.

As times have changed I realized how valuable this women’s caring was. I realized what a positive impact she had on my career. I was thrilled when I saw her out at our “Shop Local” event. I shared my memories of her positive impacts with her. I thanked her and expressed my remorse for not doing so at the time. And she shared how she found everything out, why it mattered to her, and why she did what she did.

While the major thing I realized was that it is never too late. I also recognize that when someone doing something awesome leaves, it is OK to reignite the fire. In fact, it may  be key.