My brother is an investment broker and ~ ahem ~ a Republican precinct captain. It was in that latter capacity that he attended a dinner a week or so ago at which he was given an award for his work in the last election. (Ahem again.) Afterward, a woman came up to him and said, "Are you one of the Cs from B?"
"Yes," he said, "I'm DC."
"Do you know who I am?" she asked.
Her peered into her face and said, "You look familiar but no, I'm afraid I don't."
"I'm CM," she said.
"OH!" he exclaimed, "Mrs. M! My second-grade teacher!"
"You made it!" she went on. "I am so thrilled so see you here ~ you've really made it!."
"Because of you and the other teachers there," he said. "Do you know that my memories begin in about the middle of first grade? The accident wiped out everything before that."
He said that her eyes filled with tears, and she crossed the room several times during the remainder of the evening to latch onto him.
Later he told me a number of stories about those years that I had never heard. "I remember all those teachers," he said. "And do you know when I knew I was going to be all right? It was in third grade with Mrs. W. She had put me in the corner, and the principal came in and commented on it, and she said, 'Yes, DC is in the corner. I think that he's just fine and that we all can stop coddling him.' I knew then that I was a regular person and that I was going to be ok."
It was a small school in a farming community with no material resources whatever. But it was rich in those overworked and underpaid teachers who, without benefit of psychological or bereavement resources, with nothing to go on beyond their own common sense, kept two little kids from falling into the abyss.
So Merry Christmas, Mrs. M and Colleagues, from fifty years forward.