Monday, February 11, 2008

A Monument

Recently, the long and winding road of life took me to where I grew up. We saw several monuments along the way.
The St. Louis Arch is something I marvel at each time I see it. Regally it stands there, against the wind, the heat and the cold. It's a monument, and a shelter (you can go inside), or a look out place (you can go up) across the Mississippi River and the city of St. Louis.

Then there is my first grade teacher. I haven't seen since our wedding and I moved away. At 93 years of age, regally she stands there, a monument to teaching and learning. When my mother put her hands under my little wings and with a gentle fluff said, "There, there now, it's time for first grade", Mrs. B is the one who became the "shelter" away from home, the new "look out tower" of learning which began the ascent to the wide wide world beyond the comfort of home.
The other day in her eyes, I saw the years roll back like a DVD on rewind. We hugged each other. I felt my love for her swell up into a huge lump in my throat that pushed tears from my eyes! She's little now, and I'm big! How does the passage of time do that? Mrs. B is still a monument to me! With a twinkle in her eye, she said, "Drop me a line, and I'll write back." Okay Mrs. B, I will.


24 comments:

Tracie said...

Good morning, Rachel,
How does that monument stand?

And Mrs. B, what a great visit and nice tribute to such an important lady in your life. I bet you so made her day coming to visit and she will love hearing from you again through your letter. What a nice thing to do, letting someone special know just how special they are to you.

I love your posts!
xo~Tracie

Anny said...

What kind words you have to say about your teacher! I know she was delighted to see you again!

Connie from Big Bear Lake California said...

Mrs B seems like she is a great lady & teacher!! Ya know back in her days when she was a teacher they really molded a childs outlook and values. They were more than just teachers!! God Bless them!! Had a great visit as always. Connie

Ronda said...

How neat that you were able to see your teacher! I still exchange Christmas cards with my second grade teacher from LA. Teachers can make such a huge impression on kids! The picture of the arch is really neat but it brought back memories of when we went up in it as a family...I get very claustrophobic so it was an interesting experience! ha1 Hope that you are having a good Monday!

Karla said...

We went up in the Arch on our honeymoon... and I haven't seen my 1st grade teacher (the younger Mrs. B) since I was a child. I'm not sure she would remember me, though, since I didn't live there for all my school years like you did.

Not sure how that ties in with your "monument" theme, but I just thought you would want to know those valuable little tidbits! LOL!

Hope said...

What a sweet post about your teacher, Rachel. I'm so glad you visited her. I missed an opportunity to personally thank one of my favorite teachers and now she's gone. She instilled some great things in me and really cared about each of her students personally. I fear we don't have many teachers like that any more.

Thanks for sharing that.

Hugs,
Hope

Nora Lee said...

Rachel,
What a sweet testament to your teacher. What wonderful memories of her and such a powerful testamoney as to how much teachers can touch our lives. Thank you so much for sharing.

Sandra

A Romantic Porch said...

Tracie, I was just wondering as we were driving what the foundation of the arch must be like. I think I will find a book at the library, and read about its construction, OR maybe I'll look online when I get a chance. So to answer your question, I don't know how it stands : ) Have a fun day. xo Rachel

Linda said...

Rachel,

What a great tribute to your teacher. I love it when former students come back to visit! I know it meant a lot to your teacher.

I have a film on the making of the arch. It is incredible. I lived in St. Louis when they were building it. I would be happy to share the film with you and your family. LSH

A Romantic Porch said...

Linda, That would be AWESOME. Then I could tell Tracie all about it!

KEITH said...

RACHEL, YOUR POST SO MADE MY DAY. I TOO HAVE GONE TO VISIT SOME OF THE TEACHERS WHO MADE A BIG IMPRESSION ON ME. I KNOW YOU MADE HER DAY. KEITH

Dori said...

Oh my goodness! I LOVE her. She was my first grade teacher too. Maybe I'll go see her when I'm there over Easter! Her birthday is the same as mine you know...I was convinced that she must be my twin too! She used to take me across the road to her house during recess and I got to get a piece of chocolate off of her mantle. I guess she knew that a very timid little girl needed a little extra love!

Esther said...

What a nice tribute to Mrs. B. That is sweet of you to take the time to tell her how important she was to you.

Sharon said...

How absolutley precious! She is adorable! I can't believe that you kept in touch with her, that is so neat. What a lovely lady she is and what a lovely lady you are!

Hugs, Sharon

Tracie said...

Just wanted to let you know, I'm thinking of you. Still gotta get that table out of my car!

Happy day Rachel - or night if you're still up (most likely!).

xoxo~Tracie

Barbara Jacksier said...

DO drop her a line. And make sure you use spell check! And they say you can't go back home....

Barbara

Mommy said...

That is *wonderful*! I heard that teachers *really* appreciate when their students look them up and tell them thank you for all that they taught them.

NAME: CIELO said...

What an inspirational photo; and post. Great people do that--they bestow great things to whoever come in contact with them.

Blessings

Cielo

Brook said...

Hi Rachel. What a beautiful post! I know that you made her day very special. I enjoy your posts!

Brook

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

What a sweet post. I see a real gift of writing here, you are blessed! And your friends are blessed knowing you.

Katherine

P.S. - I've seen the Arch before - marvelous - but I would never go up on it!!

Feathering My Nest said...

Oh your story is so sweet. What a darling and dear teacher you had. I loved the way you wrote how your mother placed you in her care. Your words are poetry. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Please do come again.

Kathi

daisy cottage said...

Rachel what a wonderful moment for both of you! Oh how she must have LOVED seeing you - and of course you hold her close in your heart for being the special teacher that she was to you in your life. Thank you for sharing!

xo,
Kim

fireflynights said...

How nice to still keep in touch with your first grade teacher. She sounds like a lovely lady.

Joy said...

Sweet post! We are from St. Louis!
Love your blog :)