I have this friend. Well, the story is even more complicated than that.
In ninth grade, I had an outstanding math teacher. She was organized. Students respected her. She showed us our grades every week and talked to us about them. She listened to us. She encouraged us.
I had her as my geometry teacher that next year. She asked me to be a math tutor for the school, for which I was compensated and sharpened my skills in math and teaching.
After my tenth grade year, she decided she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. She told me individually so that I could prepare myself for what was to come.
Ultimate respect for her for that.
I kept in touch with her after I graduated and as I headed out to college.
After college, we met up a few times, as well.
Then, as I was in graduate school, I began attending her church–the church her husband had just started pastoring.
So, we grew even tighter and she even encouraged me to begin calling her by her first name. Melinda.
For some reason–one that neither of us can quite figure out–I can remember almost everything she ever said to me and many other things she said in groups when she wasn’t speaking directly to me.
I can remember so many things she’s said to me, but one memorable moment was when we were pool-side with her fabulous kids.
I had just received flowers from the man I didn’t know I was going to marry one day. I was sort of embarrassed that this had happened in such a public place, but I was also very much wooed and was likely blushing.
“Dive in,” she said, encouraging me to let love happen if it was going to happen.
Seth is deeply indebted to Melinda for her encouragement during the time when the man and I dated. Deeply. And I’ll never forget her encouragement during this, and other, times when I was scared to let it happen.
So, thanks Melinda.