It’s the only extra day off I’ll have for a while, and I should be putting grades in. But, I can’t. I keep finding myself going back to Facebook while in the middle of doing things, reading and rereading and rereading again the posts of former classmates, schoolmates, and teachers about our dear Madame Dawson.

Mme is slowly deteriorating, slowly leaving this world and going into the arms of our Father, and I just can’t get over it.

I signed up to take Spanish my freshman year of high school–as did most of my freshman class–and was forced to take study hall instead. There weren’t enough spots for the class that would fit in with my schedule, and instead of taking French, I opted to wait until the next year to take Spanish I.

Fast forward another year. Same problem, and instead of opting to not take a foreign language until my junior year of college, I went with French. I had a couple of friends who would be in the class, so I figured it wouldn’t be that awful, even if I didn’t want to learn the language. Oh, how wrong I was.

I did well in the class–I made As every year of the three years I took French from Mme. But, it wasn’t just because I was a decent student and she was a good teacher. She made French so much more than the language, and she made her class so much more than fifty minutes of learning how to conjugate verbs. (P.S. Mme, I still remember “e, es, e, ons, ez, ent”.)

She taught us about a whole other culture. Actually, she taught us Southerners about two: the French culture and the Southern California culture. We heard story after story about her family and friends who still lived in Cali and story after story about her trips to France. The best part? While she was telling us stories (which she did every day), she taught us. Not just about French, but how to love people and how important they were.

She listened, took in all of our problems even when she had her own, and made us feel as if we were the only person in the world. She loved us so well. I remember time after time going to her with complaints about typical high school drama, and she would give advice and guidance.

And she’d ask the next day or a couple of days later how things were going. Because she truly and genuinely cared about us, not just our class or our grades. She wanted us as humans to succeed in the world and become people we would be proud to be. She loved each and every one of us, in her own, somewhat unique, Mme way.

I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw Mme. She started teaching at a different school, and eventually, your paths just don’t cross. But, as I’ve started my own teaching career, I’ve thought of her often. I’ve thought of her incredibly joyful attitude, one that was contagious. You couldn’t help but smile when around Mme. I’ve thought of how she loved each and every one of us–unique as we were–without ever wanting anything back. I hope I can love my students just a fraction of the way Mme loved (loves) us.

Mme, I am praying that God does a miracle in your life! I want to hear France stories and eat crepes and watch you coach my friends in Quiz Bowl again. Just one more time. But, if not, if God chooses to take you home in two-four weeks like your doctors say, I know it’s for His glory.

So incredibly grateful God saw it fit for me to take French instead of Spanish.

Je t’aime beaucoup, Mme.


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