Long ago (REALLY long ago) a very special women walked into my kindergarten class. Mrs. Upton was taking over my class mid-year to allow my original teacher, Mrs. Summers, to leave for another school. I'm not sure why this dear women has integrated herself into my childhood memories, but she is firmly within the depths of my heart and mind. After I graduated from kindergarten and moved up into the world of elementary school, I would continue to visit and help with "the younger kids". I enjoyed seeing her and helping out as much as I could. During third grade, I learned that she would be retiring. This was sad and I knew I would miss her. With the help of a few other teachers, I conjured up a "surprise" going-away party during one of my recesses. My mother was a professional cake decorator and was able to make a beautiful cake. I wore the special peach dress Mrs. Upton had bought for me and invited a friend to join in on the festivities. Now this is where the memories of a little girl and the eyes of an adult collide. I, of course, remember her great "surprise" over the party and festivities. I remember my excitement and the anticipation of the party. But, as I look at the photos capturing these memories, I realize she knew all along. But in true Mrs. Upton spirit, she faked her surprise and enthusiasm for an 8 year old girl who thought the world of her.
About 7 years ago, my mother gave me an envelope that held a thank you card from Mrs. Upton. My mother had kept it for all of these years and found it during a destashing session. I treasure that note and the photo showing my happy face. I've talked to Mrs. Upton a few times since my elementary school days and she's always happy to hear from me. But, I've never been able to express how much she meant to me. I think it time to sit down and write a quick letter to her and thank her for being such an integral part of my happy childhood. I hope we can all do that for the ones we love. Life is too short not to.
Here is a photo of my treasured possession. The turkey is also a treasure. She gave it to me in the third grade for helping her with the kids and their craft project. While it isn't the prettiest thing, I do love it and it has traveled far. It is always on display and something that I don't plan to part with anytime soon.