I went to visit my most favorite teacher ever – my third grade teacher, Mrs. Hasell. I had not seen her in over 40 years, but fate brought us back together on this steamy Saturday afternoon.
She seemed like she was 103 years old when she taught me, but she really was 103 upon my visit. I hadn’t even known she was still alive. On this day, I visited her in her home where her daughters were caring for her. She was in a hospital bed, set up in the downstairs den. Her small frail body was all clenched up like a fist in the center of the bed with her back to me. A single light was on in the dark and peaceful room. My heart broke to see this woman I had loved and admired reduced to a shell of her former self, seemingly caged. I regretted all the years I had let go by without telling her how much she had meant to me, how her kind ways and powerful knowledge had instilled in me a love for learning that was still on fire today.
Her daughter announced my presence in the room. I felt ridiculous. Surely she would not remember me. What would my presence mean to her at this point? She trembled on the bed, unable to turn over to look at me. I could barely hear her speak let alone discern her words, so her daughter came over to translate for me. “What do you want, Mother? This cabinet? Which shelf? Which piece? This one?” And as she turned from the cabinet, her daughter held a golden butterfly, covered in glitter – the one I had made for my most favorite teacher so many years ago.
All those years, all those students, all those memories – yet as clear as the ting of a crystal bell, that beautiful mind recalled me, that butterfly and the love it had held sacred between us all those years. Her most precious gift to me.
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinthians 1:27 (NIV)
Please share with the Facebook group a time when you have witnessed the power of the powerless.