Sarah’s Diary Episode Thirty-Six

As Jenny was preparing for today’s class, she couldn’t get the image of disappointment of her students from her mind. They were rooting for Sarah to be the “champion” innovator among the siblings. Hearing that she was just a public school teacher seemed to disappoint them. And that’s what Jenny had hoped. Their disappointment would become a revelation by the end of the course.

“Last class, I told you that Sarah became a public school teacher and that seemed to disappoint you. I wish I could tell you more about Sarah, but she led a very private life. I don’t know if she was married or if she had children. I haven’t found any pictures of her.”

“Like you, I was disappointed. That was the case until the archivist at our library told me they had a box of letters send to Sarah in their climate controlled room. The letters had yellowed, and I had to wear special gloves to hold them. But they gave me a real sense of Sarah. I copied some of the contents of the letters by hand, so I could read them to you in class. Please indulge me as I read them. I may choke up because they really move me.”

“When I first heard the news of your health issues and your retirement, I realized that everyone who ever was in your class would be greatly saddened. Two words came immediately to my mind: unconditional support. You inspired me to be my best.”– Chase, best-selling novelist.

“Thank you for pushing me to be an advocate for myself and for helping me recognize my worth. When I talked to my classmates about your situation, we all had tears. Then we realized that it may have been the first time you ever put yourself first.” – Margaret, heart surgeon

“I want to thank you for your commitment to the success of all your students for your career of 50+ years. I am not an exception. I know that your personal approach has positively impacted every one you ever taught. You changed our lives        for the good.” – Ben, factory manager

“What I learned from you was a love of learning, a love of discovering new opportunities, the joy of thinking differently, and the fearless approach to doing what I thought was right.” – Bill, entrepreneur

“While my last class with you was over 50 years ago, I still remember it. You    were a masterful story teller. Your stories had a true impact on me, and I believe every one of them is embedded in my permanent memory. They have now been shared with my children, their children, and soon with grandchildren on the way.” – Jeff, retired CEO

“Grief breaks down
when in your presence
bringing hope and joy.” – Emily, poet

When Jenny stopped reading, she needed to compose herself. She turned her back to the class while she wiped her eyes. “I could share with you hundreds of similar letters. All have similar themes of inspiration. I hope these give you a better sense of Sarah.”

“Now for the next class, I want you to reflect on my continuing question: was Sarah an innovator?”
* * *

“We alone cannot change the whole world for everyone, but we can change the world of everyone we come in contact with today. Be kind and give fully from your soul.” – Unknown

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