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Monday, November 22, 2010

Long Ago. . .

Today I had a very special surprise. One of my former Religion teachers stopped by for a quick visit, to see if anyone from previous years were still around. When he opened the door and stepped into the office, I sat there for a moment in shock, sure that my eyes were deceiving me. Seconds later I was exclaiming, "Dr. Anderson!" as I shot out of my seat and gave him a huge hug. He was probably a little surprised by my exuberant greeting, but then again, probably not. He knew me from a different era and he knew a different person.

As we visited for a brief time, standing in the light drizzle and sharing all the news with his wife and daughter who were sitting in the SUV, I tried my hardest to capture the moment in my memory bank. Dear friends, from days long gone, just about unknown on the campus that now housed many new faces who would not even give them a second glance.

It wasn't long and they were leaving. They were just passing through and I was grateful I'd had a chance to say hello. But it was more than just a hello for me. . .it was a reminder of a time when I felt loved, when I felt secure, when I felt that I was heard. Dr. Anderson was always a very fair teacher, he saw things in black and white most of the time, but while he had strict guidelines in class, he also had mercy. As his student, I worked hard to earn the A grades and his respect. As a coworker, I appreciated that he would stand up for what was right and we shared a similar sense of justice.

Unfortunately, time never stays in one moment long enough. They left, others came, some returned, and then they left too. I was the only common denominator, still here. Still remembering. And now, very much alone.

There are very few who can read and understand exactly what I'm attempting to communicate with feeble words. I think this experience goes beyond my college years, however. I think it reminds me of all the times I said goodbye to those who were dear to me, as they came and went and I was left behind. Until the day I left them behind.

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