Usually I write something that will tickle your funny bone, bring a smile to your face and if I am lucky, make you laugh out loud occasionally. But sometimes I run into to something that other people wrote that I just have to share with anyone who is reading my (slowest rising) blog. I don’t know who wrote this, but it really had an impact on me. This will be a 180 from the things that I usually share with you.
One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.
Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.
That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.
On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. “Really” she heard whispered multiple times. “I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!” and, “I didn’t know others liked me so much,” were most of the comments.
No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. The teacher never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.
Several years later, one the students was killed in Vietnam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature.
The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last to pass and bless the coffin. As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. “Were you Marks English teacher?” he asked. She noted: ‘yes’ then he said: “Mark talked about you a lot.”
After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark’s mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher.
“We want to show you something,” his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.
Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded, and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him.
“Thank you for doing that,” Mark’s mother said. As you can see Mark treasured it.
All of Mark’s classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, “I still have my list. It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.
Greg’s wife said, “Greg asked me to put his in our wedding album.”
“I have mine too,” Marilyn said. “It’s in my diary.”
Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. “I carry this with me at all times.” Vicki said, and without batting an eyelash she continued: “I think we all saved our lists.
That’s when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.
The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don’t know when that one day will be.
So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.
I told you that this was not an original piece by me, but it moved me so that I had to share.
I have written many stories, some sad, and with them some obitiutaries for parents and friends, but this is the first time that my eyes teared up as I copied this beautiful piece.