Saturday, December 7, 2019

Big hugs for fantastic kindergarten teacher

With Patty Bein in Village Commons gift shop
The world has it back-asswards by rewarding multi-millionaires who do crappy things and not rewarding teachers who shape children in their formative years. I thought of this when I bumped into Pat Bein – Mrs. Bein – who had all three of my kids in kindergarten in a sweet little school, The Horizon School (no longer in existence) in South Hadley Falls.

Of course I had something to do with my kids turning out as great as they are, as of course did their father, but I wasn't exaggerating when I told her that my kids are who they are because of her. We were shopping at the Village Commons in the Arts Unlimited Gift Gallery, where most items (except the earrings I wanted to buy, insert frowny face) were 20 percent off during the annual Village Commons Days. We gave each other a big hug and talked for a few minutes. I showed her photos and she said their grownup selves looked just like their kindergarten selves! She remembered how worried I was when I left Ben for the first time and he cried his little heart out as I went to work. I called her as soon as I got to the newspaper, and she said he had stopped crying right away. She made me feel confident that they were in good hands. I did the glasses on, glasses off, photo in the middle of the displays at the store. At this point, my honey turned to leave. The store owner said he had lasted longer than most.

Glasses off

Meanwhile, Thanksgiving seems in the distant past, but I forgot to write that our little gathering of Joe, Katie and Jim went well. When I learned that it would be just us three, I felt forlorn. Then I sat back and thought about how silly it is that Thanksgiving is supposed to be big. In this post for, I wrote about how Thanksgiving with my former husband is easier than it was during our married days when he got annoyed with the mess that my mother and I made in the kitchen.

I wrote, "It is easy to lose perspective when you’re as far “out” as I am. But periodically I remind myself to read what I wrote on my blog when I relapsed for the second time: 'I have been crying a lot, picturing myself at the end of the road. Thinking I won’t see my children finish growing up, won’t see my grandchildren.' So what if I don’t see them on a certain day? I’m thankful that the generosity of my bone marrow donor made my predictions wrong on the dark relapse day."

By the way, the post was dated Dec. 25, 2008, and I gave it the headline, "Downhill all the Way."
Those were the days that people commented directly on the blog rather than on Facebook after I share. Twenty-five people commented. Two of them have died. One of them is my friend Patricia, aka PJ, my doppleganger until she wasn't. She wrote, "Adding my support to all the comments here. I wish I could do more than sit on the sidelines watching as you deal with this. Even though I can literally picture where you are (you could be in my old room), I can't imagine what you're feeling. It's all too much, and just wrong."

I really miss my friends PJ and Ann and our little sisterhood of leukemia survivors. We all knew what the other was going through, and we could sometimes even joke about it.

But I have digressed, as usual.

Oh, by the way, circling back, I'm sure that Jim, my then-editor, wasn't the first one to say back-asswards instead of ass backwards, but I first heard it from him during my cub reporter days at the Holyoke T-T, and I thought it was so clever and it has stuck in my head.

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