Monday, December 9, 2013

#makesmesmilemondays Letter from the Past

When I look at the date on this letter, I'm amazed at how much time has passed. 

1989!?!?!!!

It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in Mr. Riberdy's class, in my itchy wool Catholic high school uniform, joking around with my classmates and sharing stories we'd written, reading classic novels or just listening to Mr. Riberdy go off on a tangent and talk about one of his adventures in parenting or the funny experiences he had while working odd side jobs in the summer. 

Back then, Mr. Riberdy was about my age now, and had two little kids at home, too, so when I think of him today it's bittersweet: I'm the one who is teacher now, the working parent of little ones, the teacher going off on tangents and just hoping my students will aspire to just a little bit more in life. 

Once Mr. Riberdy actually packed up a group of students into a minivan and off we went to O'Hare airport late at night, to pass out personal care kits to the many homeless people that slept in the terminals for the night. I remember how exciting and fun it was to be of service with my friends, and to this day, I always try to plan two or three service projects with my students each year, hoping that my students will gain something from the contagious spirit of giving as I did while wandering the late-night terminals of O'Hare with my classmates and teachers. 

Mr. Riberdy died too young, of cancer, leaving behind his young family, soon after my class graduated in 1991. 

I am thankful for his good wishes and words of advice, advice that I will try to follow this Christmas and every one that follows. 


The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. Isaiah 9:2 ESV




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