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The Stories My Mom Shared With Me

by Julie Thompson

My mom retired after 35 years of being an elementary teacher. As she was ending her teaching career, I was beginning mine. I loved sharing teaching stories with my mom. She could relate to what I was going through, and on those really tough days and weeks, I always felt better after talking with my mom.

Unfortunately, a few years after my mom retired, she passed away. I expected holidays and birthdays to be hard without her. What caught me by surprise though is how much I missed her as I drove to school. And at the beginning of each new school year, waves of grief would roll in and out.

Now I anticipate the waves, and instead of them overtaking me I ride them out. As I drive to school each day, I welcome the childhood memories that come to mind. . . .

Memories of sitting with my mom on the couch at night and helping her “grade” papers

Memories of watching her write and revise her lesson plans

Memories of helping my mom in her classroom

Now, my evenings often involve schoolwork, such as checking papers and reviewing my lesson plans for the following day, but my mom is no longer sitting on the couch next to me.

Even though we can no longer bond over our teaching experiences, I have found a way to keep my mom’s memory alive in my classroom.

When my mom retired, she gave me the books from her classroom library. At the time, I was so thankful, mainly because she saved me a lot of money. Creating a classroom library is expensive!

After she passed away, though, these books became even more valuable to me. Whenever I come across a book in my classroom with my mom’s name written on the inside or back cover, I smile. Seeing her handwriting brings me comfort.

I love that my students are reading and enjoying some of the same books that were in my mom’s classroom.

In this small way, my mom still gets to be a part of my classroom.

And one day, I hope to give my classroom library to a new teacher.

Books are meant to be shared. Great stories are timeless. I’m so thankful for the stories my mom shared with me.

Comments(4)

  1. Reply
    Chloe says

    Thank you Ms. Julie Thompson for sharing your story. My Mother was not a “certified teacher” but she was always involved in my education as well as for other children she too care of. People think teaching will distract me from remembering her but it is too the contrary. She was very much involved in my teaching career as well – including helping me organize papers and entering grades. I too have found ways to honor her in the classroom…it can’t be any other way….

    • Reply
      Julie says

      Chloe, I love that you have also found ways to honor your mom in your classroom. It sounds like she positively impacted so many lives, and now you are too.

  2. Reply
    Gina Ellis says

    Julie,
    Such a beautiful story of walking with grief and love this side of eternity. This is one of my most favorites of your blogs and am so grateful for your sharing. Through teaching and your blogging and the way you minister to others you honor your mother and the love you shared.

    • Reply
      Julie says

      Thank you for your kind words, Gina, and for your continued encouragement. Love is such a powerful force that it can be felt even in the midst of our grief.

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