The Daily Prompt : Audience of One – Picture the one person in the world you really wish were reading your blog. Write her or him a letter.
Dear Mr. Thornburn:
I don’t imagine that you will remember me, one of a thousand students you taught over your long career, so here’s a little memory jog for you.
You taught English Literature to my grade twelve class in 1966. I was seventeen years old. I thought at first that you were way beyond the point where it was healthy for you to still be teaching, and imagined you must be in your seventies with your bifocals and your grey hair and your vivid memories of the ancient history that happened in your lifetime before we were even born.
Once you actually called me by my mothers name because you had taught English classes to her too, and I wanted to shrink down under my seat and disappear. No teenage girl wants anyone to think she’s anything at all like her mother. You shook your head as if to clear it and laughed and then went on to highly praise some little thing I’d written, reading it aloud to the rest of the class and explaining exactly why it was so brilliant.
I was embarrassed, but I was also elated and inspired by your words. You, lover of literature and grammar and composition, who made Shakespeare come alive for us by reciting some soliloquy on top of your desk while wielding a plastic sword – you really liked something I’d written. You made me want to write more.
That’s why I wish you were still around to read my blog. It’s not Shakespeare, but it is words from my heart. Almost always grammatically correct. Except right there of course, since that wasn’t a real sentence, and this one is a bit of a run-on mess, but you know what I mean. You were so enthusiastic and encouraging and supportive. You always pointed out the good stuff. You brought out the best in me.
You saw that spark inside me and you blew on it until it became a fire that would never burn out. I am reading, I am writing, and I am appreciating the power of the written word. When a book or a story or even just some delightful little phrase makes me joyful, I think about how much you would have loved it.
So thank you Mr. Thornburn. I will never be a best selling author or famous for any other reason, but that doesn’t matter. Someone, somewhere will be inspired by some small thing I decided was important enough to write down. I wish it could be you, because I owe you.
Not My Mother, but finally able to see what a compliment it was to be the one who made you think of her.