The Loss of a Mentor

I know it has been a while since I’ve posted.  Many things took me away from my blog.  What can I say, life (and death) happens.

The loss of a mentor leaves a huge empty hole.  In March, my mother-in-law left this world.  She had no regrets.  She had lived a good life.  She believed in God and her destination.  We each had time to share with her what meant the most to us.  I had so many things to share.  She provided me with so many blessings.

From the beginning of our relationship, I looked up to her.  She was the first teacher I ever met that wasn’t one of my teachers.  It was kind of like having someone else’s parents tell you something your parents have been telling you for years.  I listened to everything she said about teaching.  She was my future.  I wanted to be just like her.  From that moment, she became my mentor.  I was a willing student.

She followed my education.  She guided me from afar.  Whenever we were able to get together, I would pick her brain about teaching strategies.  I could listen to her stories for hours.

Several years later, I started dating and married her son.  It changed our relationship.  Now she was not just my mother-in-law.  We both loved the same man.  It wasn’t always easy.  Sometimes we disagreed.  But we always had teaching.  No matter what, our students came first.  A few years after I joined her family, we settled all our issues.  Most came from my insecurities.  Always trying to measure up to her.  We finally began to like each other for who we were.  She became more than a mentor, or even a mother-in-law.  She became my friend and  I miss her.

My mother-in-law, mentor and friend.

This year I can’t call her to share the joys and frustrations of teaching.  My mentor is gone.    I pray that I can be like her once more.  I hope I have something to offer others.  I am in a new grade level.  Young teachers surround me.  Now it is my turn to mentor.

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