Wow !!!! A Must read!!!
As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.
Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant.
It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X’s and then putting a big “F” at the top of his papers.
At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child’s past records and she put Teddy’s off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.
Teddy’s first grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners… he is a joy to be around..”
His second grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.”
His third grade teacher wrote, “His mother’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn’t show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren’t taken.”
Teddy’s fourth grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class.”
By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy’s. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper That he got from a grocery bag Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume.. But she stifled the children’s laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, “Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to.” After the children left, she cried for at least an hour.
On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her “teacher’s pets..”
A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling* her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.
Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in life.
Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he’d stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he had ever had in his whole life.
Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor’s degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer…. The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.
The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom.
Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.
They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson’s ear, “Thank you Mrs. Thompson for* believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference.”
Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, “Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn’t know how to teach until I met you.”
(For you that don’t know, Teddy Stoddard is the Dr. at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing.)
Warm someone’s heart today. . . pass this along. I love this story so very much, I cry every time I read it. Just try to make a difference in someone’s life today? tomorrow? Just “do it”.
Random acts of kindness, I think they call it?
“Believe in Angels, then return the favor.”
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Just A Typewriter you might say… but not to Paul Smith.
One Man At His Finest – with a Typewriter
He lived at Rose Haven Nursing Home ( Roseburg , OR ) for years. Paul Smith, the man with extraordinary talent was born on September 21, 1921, with severe cerebral palsy. Not only had Paul beaten the odds of a life with spastic cerebral palsy, a disability that impeded his speech and mobility but also taught himself to become a master artist as well as a terrific chess player even after being devoid of a formal education as a child.
“When typing, Paul used his left hand to steady his right one. Since he couldn’t press two keys at the same time, he almost always locked the shift key down and made his pictures using the symbols at the top of the number keys. In other words, his pictures were based on these characters ….. @ # $ % ^ & * ( )_ . Across seven decades, Paul created hundreds of pictures. He often gave the originals away. Sometimes, but not always, he kept or received a copy for his own records. As his mastery of the typewriter grew, he developed techniques to create shadings, colors, and textures that made his work resemble pencil or charcoal drawings.”
This great man passed away on June 25, 2009, but left behind a collection of his amazing artwork that will be an inspiration for many.
You know that saying about “When life closes a door, God opens a window”? Well, I think God just helped this man build a whole new house.
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Merry Christmas, My Friend
by: Christa Holder Ocker, Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul
“I will never forget you,” the old man said. A tear rolled down his leathery cheek. “I’m getting old. I can’t take care of you anymore.”
With his head tilted to one side, Monsieur DuPree watched his master. “Woof woof! Woof woof!” He wagged his tail back and forth, wondering, What’s he up to now?
“I can’t take care of myself anymore, let alone take care of you.” The old man cleared his throat. He pulled a hankie from his pocket and blew his nose with a mighty blast.
“Soon, I’ll move to an old age home and, I’m sorry to say, you can’t come along. They don’t allow dogs there, you know.”
Bent over from age, the old man limped over to Monsieur DuPree and stroked his head.
“Don’t worry, my friend. We’ll find a home. We’ll find a nice new home for you.” And, as an afterthought he added, “Why, with your good looks, we’ll have no trouble at all. Anyone would be proud to own such a fine dog.”
Monsieur DuPree wagged his tail really hard and strutted up and down the kitchen floor. “Woof, woof, woof, woof.” For a moment, the familiar musky scent of the old man mingling with the odor of greasy food gave the dog the feeling of well being. But then, a sense of dread took hold again. His tail hung between his legs and he stood very still.
“Come here.” With great difficulty, the old man knelt down on the floor and lovingly pulled Monsieur Dupree close to him. He tied a ribbon around his neck with a huge red bow, and then he attached a note to it. Monsieur DuPree wondered what it said.
“It says,” the old man read aloud, “Merry Christmas! My name is Monsieur DuPree. For breakfast, I like bacon and eggs — even corn flakes will do. For dinner, I prefer mashed potatoes and some meat. That’s all. I eat just two meals a day. In return, I will be your most loyal friend.”
“Woof woof! Woof woof!” Monsieur DuPree was confused and his eyes begged, What’s going on?
The old man blew his nose into his hankie once more. Then, hanging onto a chair, he pulled himself up from the floor. Buttoning his overcoat, he reached for the dog’s leash and softly said, “Come here my friend.” He opened the door against a gust of cold air and stepped outside, pulling the dog behind. Dusk was beginning to fall. Monsieur DuPree pulled back. He didn’t want to go.
“Don’t make this any harder for me. I promise you, you’ll be much better off with someone else.” The street was deserted. It began to snow. Leaning into the wintry air, the old man and his dog pushed on. The pavement, trees, and houses were soon covered with a blanket of snow.
After a very long time, they came upon an old Victorian house surrounded by tall trees, which were swaying and humming in the wind. The old man stopped. Monsieur DuPree stopped, too. Shivering in the cold, they appraised the house. Glimmering lights adorned every window, and the muffled sound of a Christmas song was carried on the wind.
“This will be a nice home for you,” the old man said, choking on his words. He bent down and unleashed his dog, then opened the gate slowly, so that it wouldn’t creak. “Go on now. Go up the steps and scratch on the door.”
Monsieur DuPree looked from the house to his master and back again to the house. He did not understand. “Woof woof! Woof woof!”
“Go on.” The old man gave the dog a shove. “I have no use for you anymore,” he said in a gruff voice. “Get going now!”
Monsieur DuPree was hurt. He thought his master didn’t love him anymore. He didn’t understand that, indeed, the old man loved him very much, yet he could no longer care for him. Slowly he straggled toward the house and up the steps. He scratched with one paw at the front door. “Woof woof! Woof woof!”
Looking back, he saw his master step behind a tree just as someone from inside turned the front doorknob. A little boy appeared, framed in the door by the light coming from behind. When he saw Monsieur DuPree, he threw both arms into the air and shouted with delight, “Oh boy! Oh boy! Mom and Dad, come and see what Santa brought!”
Through teary eyes, the old man watched from behind the tree. He saw the mother read the note, and tenderly pull the dog inside.
Smiling, the old man wiped his eyes with the sleeve of his cold, damp coat as he disappeared into the night whispering, “Merry Christmas, my friend.”
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I created these inspirational love quote posters to hopefully help you or for you to share with your loved ones that you just can’t quite communicate directly too.
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