NPR’s Story Corps shared a moving story today called Decades Later, Student Finds Teacher To Say ‘Thank You’.
In it, a student from 1958 tells how he tracked down a teacher (also part of the broadcast) who changed his life. Here’s an excerpt:
Cruitt remembers seeing his teacher, Doyle, at his mother’s wake.
“When I found out she died, I could certainly relate to that, because when I was 11, my own father died,” Doyle tells Cruitt at StoryCorps in Monroe, N.Y. “And you just don’t know how you’re going to go on without that person.”
When Cruitt returned to school, Doyle waited until all of the other children left the room at the end of the day, and told him that she was there if he needed her.
“Then you bent over and kissed me on the head. It was really the only time someone said to me, ‘I know what you’re feeling, and I know what you’re missing,’ ” Cruitt says. “And I felt, in a very real way, that things really would be OK.”
“Well, John, I really loved you as a student, and I’m so glad that I could be there with you for that time,” says Doyle, 82.
Decades after his mother’s death, when Cruitt became a teacher himself, he began to think more and more of Doyle.
“And I started to think to myself, here I am, with a memory of a teacher who changed my life, and I’ve never told her that,” he says.
So, that’s when he finally wrote a letter:
You’ll have to read the letter at the NPR site, and it’s worth the visit.
This story reminds me of a Maya Angelou quote: