Letter to Tamara

April 5, 2009

There are those people in ones life who leave a mark, change the course, who make a difference. Do you know who you are? Like a stone in a stream that gently changes the flow of the river, one life can change another. The stone may never notice the life that flows by, but because of its presence, there occurs a gentle turn in the stream, a change in direction. A new valley is carved, another path taken. River stones are teachers, preachers, lovers, friends or even kind strangers. Thank you to who-ever-your-name is who picked me up at 3 in the morning on a rural stretch of highway 55 in Farmersville, Illinois and drove me safely home. I’ll never forget you, even though you’ve long forgotten me.

I recently reconnected with a teacher I had in high school. In a few months I will be attending my 25th year class reunion and all of this time, this person has been on my mind, in my heart. Thank you Tamara. Thank you for being smart, beautiful, inspiring, cool beyond cool. You were a stone in my river. I idolized you. I wanted to be you, I’ve remembered you all this time. There is no need for you to know the details of why, but just know that, your simple commitment to being a great teacher, reached way beyond your classroom, and way beyond my high school career. You are part of who I am today, part of even who my children have become. You introduced me to literature, poetry, myself. You gave me confidence and set an example for who and what I could become. I thank you.

We all have our own stones upstream, those who helped to shape who we are today, those who moved our river in another direction. Go find yours. Go, and say thank you. River stones are simply beautiful.


One Response to “Letter to Tamara”

  1. Tamara DeLand Says:

    Ronnie: I can’t tell you what it means to me to have been reunited with you after all this time. Your thanks and kind words couldn’t have come at a better time in my life. Do you think that I could get an invitation to that high school reunion?

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