Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Truly Inspiring

"There are some who continue to inspire and light the world in their darkest hour. That is the definition of inspiring."
~Mama Hen
I always post daily, but yesterday received a phone call from a friend I had not spoken to in a while. She is the most inspiring woman and mother I know! We spoke for over four hours on the phone (usually when I am blogging) and I went to bed so inspired! This is a mom of a student I had in my fourth grade class years ago. She wanted so much for her two sons and did everything she had to to assure that they would have an excellent education. We immediately got along because I raised the bar for all of my students. I believed in them and tried so hard to inspire my students to work towards a college education. I taught in the inner city and refused to allow my students (many had difficult lives) to be at a disadvantage in any way. My main focus was to inspire and raise their self esteem. My student's mother also had that same attitude and wanted to inspire her children to go to college and have lives she did not have in her childhood. We kept in touch after I left that school to become a mom and her kids were accepted into one of the greatest private schools in New England. A year after her kids started at the private school, she was told she had cancer. She went through so very much, but refused to let it take away from her involvement in her son's lives and education. After three months in the hospital with aggressive chemo she was able to go home. The entire time she had been in the hospital she kept in touch daily with each teacher so she could make sure her kids were on the right track. The cancer went into remission and in our phone call last night she informed me that she is receiving chemo treatments again. However, the entire phone call was about how she said I inspired my students and about how well her son's were doing in school. Her oldest is in a prestigious university and her younger son is in high school at the same private school. She could have easily talked about the pain she was in or how tired she was or how terrible the chemo is. But she was bright and cheery and so proud of her sons, rightfully so! This is a woman who is the complete essence of inspiration!

20 comments:

  1. I bet you were a wonderful teacher! They are so important to our children!! it must mean so much to you to know how you've touched so many lives. What an inspiring story!!!

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  2. Oh I had chills reading this post - how touching and well done. I am sure you were an excellent teacher! The way you talk about it there is no doubt you had passion and made a huge impact in the lives of students and families. That is a huge accomplishment and one you should be proud of. Most people go through their entire life never having made the difference you did in the lives of so many. Your comment on my blog was so thoughtful - but you should rest knowing you are wonderful - you are making a difference - and you will continue to make a difference just like you do here with all your followers.

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  3. wow what a great post and I had no idea you are a teacher and taught inner city kids. And, I am sorry to hear her cancer is back but I hope she does well and gets better. And she must be so proud of her kids! Very inspiring indeed...
    naina

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  4. What an amazing woman and inspirational story, Mama Hen. Your friend's positive attitude and refusal to give in to or focus on the "sick patient" role are probably what keep her cancer at bay. Teachers have a such an awesome opportunity to positively impact the lives of so many children who may not get that unconditional love and encouragement in their home lives. I just know you're lots of 4th graders' favorite teacher. I imagine you gently coax them out of their comfort zones and stretch them beyond their own preconceived limitations to reach goals they never dreamed of reaching for. They probably thought you were mean or hard at first. In the end, however, you are the one that made the biggest difference in their lives. How proud you must be of your former students!

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  5. Teachers are so important. They can make such a difference in a child's life. That's wonderful that you've kept in touch with your student's mother through the years. She should be a lesson for all of us. Appreciating what we have and keeping a positive attitude goes such a long way towards keeping us healthy in mind and body and giving us the strength to fight back if we do get sick.

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  6. This is so touching - her heart being so much for others that she didn't focus on her own pain. I just about cried reading this post. You and she both are making tremendous impact on the lives of so many in the next generation.

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  7. I loved this! Your mission is the same as mine. I've always wanted to teach health education in inner city schools. This post has definitely inspired me even more to get out there and do it.

    Your friend is truly an inspiration, too! I pray she does ok with her chemo treatment and her sons is doing well in school! Seeing th bright-side of life and focusing on positive things when we're feeling at our lowest is the best way to handle most tough situations!

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  8. Like a true mom. What a perfect example. Mom's always tend to put their own needs, pain, and wants aside for the best interest of their children. I wish her the best. Hope she kicks cancer in the butt! How inspiring!

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  9. That's amazing. I am so proud of all she and her sons accomplished and you seem to be just as inspiring!

    I certainly wish her well!

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  10. It takes an amazing person to look past all the pain and focus on the happy bright things in life. Thanks for sharing such an inspirational story!

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  11. Oh I love hearing stories like that :) and how beautiful it must have felt to make an impact in her children's lives like that. what an amazing, strong woman she must be...fighting cancer yet again. I taught for a while in a struggling school district and tried to bring "change" to my kids too! I still get letters, emails letting me know those kids are still on the right track, and that brings me so much joy! One day a mother of one of my students, was standing at my classroom door with roses and a card, she said she was bringing me these as a thank you for helping her son see all of the good in the world, making him understand how truly special he was each and every day...she said he'd come home and ONLY talk about my health class! how cool is that! She was a single mother, struggling to make ends meet and my teaching brought her and her son joy-that's an amazing feeling too!

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  12. Praise God for those who do not discourage, but give encouragement and inspiration!

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  13. Wow - what a wonderful woman! I wish her the best of luck in her battle - she sounds like a strong confident person!

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  14. I didn't realize that you taught in the inner city at one time. What an incredible way to impact the kids by encouraging them to excel regardless of their circumstances. That is so awesome. I'll be praying for this beautiful mommy as she battles with cancer. She sounds like an amazing gal!

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  15. What a wonderful mother she is to want so much for her children. This is truly inspiring and a testament to teachers everywhere. Your job is tough and truly inspirational teachers are hard to find, but what a difference you make in the world. Congrats to you Mama Hen for changing lives!

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  16. Wow, that is the meaning of sacrificing for your children. I hope that she will be well soon, and that her boys realize what a gift their mother is.

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  17. It must have been wonderful to hear the positive impact you had on her kids' lives. I'll be praying for a speedy recovery for her, so that she can continue to be another positive influence for those around her!

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  18. Wow, amazing and very inspiring indeed!

    Blog
    http://www.peacefulislandmother.yolasite.com

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  19. What a wonderful post Mama Hen! You are both such an inspiration. You- for being a wonderful teacher who clearly made an impact on this mother and her children. And your friend- for being so strong and insightful with such odds against her. Truly inspiring and a reminder to all to find the Sunnyside of Life every...single...day! :)

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  20. What a great post for your friend! It's great to feel connected again, I bet.

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