Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Go Find Your Fifth Grade Teacher

If you follow this blog on Facebook, you already know that this past weekend, I had a conversation with Mrs. Saucier, the inspiring fifth-grade teacher featured in my recent post, "If Jesus Were a Fifth Grade Teacher."

Here's the story of how it happened (from the Facebook post) . . .

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a tribute to Mrs. Saucier, my fifth-grade English teacher, and posted it on my blog. It was called "If Jesus Were a Fifth Grade Teacher." 
I very much wanted her to read it, but I had no idea where she was. I tried to find her online, but found nothing - not even on Facebook. So I prayed that somehow she would see the tribute I wrote, and I waited for God to do something.
Soon afterward, a Klutz reader named Amy reached out to me, and Amy said her mom knew someone named Sue who knew Mrs. Saucier. I got in touch with Sue, and Sue had three phone numbers for me to try (it had been a while since they had talked).
None of the numbers worked.  
Sue was very apologetic, and once again, I asked God to somehow make sure Mrs. Saucier read the essay.  
Well, tonight - three weeks after I posted the essay and 23 years after fifth grade - I got a text from an unfamiliar number. It said, "Hello Josh Rogers. My friend Sue gave me your number, and I am so thrilled to be able to say hello to you. Have thought of you often...please catch me up on your life. Look forward to hearing from you. Love you, Ms. Saucier."  
I immediately called her, and we had the sweetest conversation, during which I read my essay to her.  
We both got choked up, and - just like the old days - she was very affirming.  
"You told me I could be the President," I said. "You have no idea how much that meant to me." 
"I said it because I believed it, Joshua. I always knew you were going to do something very special with your life," she said.  
The conversation went on for quite a while, just as naturally as it did when I was a kid. And as we wrapped up, I promised to call her again soon, but before she said goodbye, she said, "I hope you know I still fully expect you to be President one day - and I'd better get an invitation to the inauguration." 
Classic Mrs. Saucier.  
To all of you who tried to help me find Mrs. Saucier, to all of you who shared your memories of her via Facebook messages, and - most of all - to God, whose timing is always perfect, thank you, thank you, thank you. It was such a blessing to have a reunion with Mrs. Saucier and experience God's goodness through her all over again. What an awesome blessing.

Quite frankly, I felt a little weird about writing the original essay.  First of all, I doubted Mrs. Saucier would ever see it.  And second, I was afraid she might not appreciate me posting a photo of her online and writing a gushing ode to her.  But I went ahead and posted it, figuring she probably wouldn't see it anyway - besides, I figured that her story might inspire someone else. 

As it turns out, the post did inspire a few people, including an old fifth-grade classmate who's now a high school principal - she passed the essay out to her entire faculty.  And more importantly, when I read the essay to Mrs. Saucier, she was floored to learn she had made such a big difference in my life. 

It makes you wish more of the "Mrs. Sauciers" of the world knew how much their lives mattered - and that's where you come in.

People, seriously - it's Thanksgiving week.  Don't just gorge yourself with turkey, dressing, and green bean casserole.  Do something meaningful.  Take a few minutes to recall one of your Mrs. Sauciers - that Sunday School teacher, the ICU nurse, the old coworker, or the faithful friend who helped you through a hard time.

Shoot them an email, a text, a Facebook message or - better yet - make a good old-fashioned phone call and tell them how much they meant to you.  You don't have to write an essay or get choked up when you talk to them - just say "thank you" and then briefly explain why you're glad they exist.

If you're like me, you'll have to get over a few insecurities to do it, but trust me: it's going to blow their socks off to hear you say "thank you."  And if your experience is anything like mine, it will bless you just as much to say it.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for this post! I had the same kind of teacher and her name was Ms. Vestal. I think of her so often. Happy Thanksgiving from one of your faithful readers!

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    Replies
    1. That's so good to hear. If she's alive and you can find her, I hope you'll let her know.

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