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Friday, April 28, 2017

Appreciation



I think there is nothing that beats the feeling of being loved, wanted and appreciated! Nothing. I don’t think we express it nearly enough. We might think it. We might feel it. But we don’t express it. And it is the expression of love and appreciation that ties us to mankind, to each other, especially to those who are dear to us.

Sometimes, we take those who we love and appreciate the most for granted. We assume “they know” and even if we’re right- that they do know- expressing it is more valuable than you can imagine.

I am who I am because of those who nurtured, guided, prodded, pushed and poked me along the way. I am who I am because I was mentored and cared for.

Next week, we celebrate Teachers. Someone named next week as Teacher Appreciation Week. To me, it is vital and necessary, but it shouldn’t be just one week. Teachers are too valuable.

I look back in my life and there are several who shaped, guided, mentored, and yes, pushed, pulled, poked and prodded. I’m sure at times I was exasperating. I’m sure at times they felt like giving up on me.

But they didn’t! They hung in there with me, and more importantly, they hung in there for me.

Mrs. Nancy Mehring, my fourth grade teacher saw something in me that my previous three teachers didn’t. Before her, my grades were something akin to pebbles at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Before her, I was just “another Lewis.” She rescued me. She picked me for various classroom duties. I remember her calling my name to help make a classroom decision. It was because of her my view of self changed. And I think, because I viewed myself differently, kids in my class viewed me differently. My annoying stutter stopped. I stood a bit taller. My grades shot up. And, I was happily willing to work for her. She inspired me and because of her, I smiled more and I laughed a little.

Sr. Josephe’ Marie, my sixth grade teacher was, and still is to this day, a friend, a mentor, and a spiritual confidante. She knew I loved to read, but she inspired in me a love of writing. I credit her with whatever success I have. She was “the crazy nun” and I loved her, still love her, and I know my classmates did, too.

I’ve been in education for forty years and I’ve been blessed along the way. I’ve had wonderful colleagues who made me a better teacher and person simply because I was around them. I’m so thankful to them: Dan and Mark, friends and my assistant coaches; Bill, the first principal I truly could call a mentor; Andre, another mentor who I can say truthfully that what he has done for me, for others extends far past the classroom, the school, and into one’s heart and soul. Tony, now deceased, who was an exceptional teacher and an even better person. So many others. So many others . . .

I look at my staff: teachers all- regardless of title- caring, compassionate, and patient. Teachers who guide and mentor. And like those teachers in my younger years, teachers who pull and push and prod and poke. Teachers who spend their own money on pencils and candy and bulletin board supplies. Teachers who stay up grading and making suggestions so their kids can improve and achieve great things. Teachers who come up with creative ways to reach their students. Teachers who don’t receive the appreciation, the thank you, the “you make a difference” enough. Not nearly enough. I walk the hallways and I visit your classrooms and at times I stand before you, humbled because you are so much better than I was or am. Proud to call you My Tribe. Proud to be among you. Proud to be one of you.

Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

I just finished my fifth work of thriller/mystery fiction, Caught in a Web and it’s currently being edited. I’ll keep you posted as to when it will be published.

Please feel free to connect with me at:

Twitter at @jrlewisauthor

Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Lewis.Author                       

Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Joseph-Lewis/e/B01FWB9AOI/                

If you like Thriller/Mystery fiction, check out my novels:

Available on Amazon for .99 the Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they don’t know one another, the lives of FBI Agent Kelliher and two boys become interwoven with the same thread that Pete Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their lives are in jeopardy as each search for a way out. http://bit.ly/Taking-Lives-JLewis

Stolen Lives, Book One of the Lives Trilogy:
Two thirteen year old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they’ll end up like all the others- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. And the possibility exists that one of his team members might be involved. http://bit.ly/Stolen-Lives-JLewis

Shattered Lives, Book Two of the Lives Trilogy:
Six men escaped and are out for revenge. The boys, recently freed from captivity, are in danger and so are their families, but they don’t know it. The FBI has no clues, no leads, and nothing to go on and because of that, cannot protect them. http://bit.ly/Shattered-Lives-J-Lewis

Splintered Lives, Book Three of the Lives Trilogy:
It began in Arizona with death and it ends in Arizona in death. A 14 year old boy has a price on his head, but he and his family don’t know it. Their family vacation turns into a trip to hell. Out gunned and outnumbered, can this boy protect his father and brothers? Without knowing who these men are? Or how many there are? Or when they might come for him? http://bit.ly/Splintered-Lives-J-Lewis   

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe