When I Get Where I’m Going

I had a teacher once who loved me because I was ornery.

It’s always nice to be a teachers favorite, it makes class easier…not so with this one. She didn’t play favorites, she might love you more but with that came higher expectations. She didn’t cut you any breaks if she liked you, she’d just laugh with you and then punish you too.  She was harder on the girls I think, because she knew life was harder on us…and she wanted us to grow up to be strong, independent women. She never accepted excuses from us, if you had a problem don’t whine about it…fix it. She never told me she loved me, but if she did you knew it because she hounded you. If you were being a ‘snot head’ she called you on it, and if you got mad at her she would wait you out, until you came to your senses and stopped being a ‘snot’. There were times she was really patient with me, cause I was stubborn too.

I lost touch with her after moving away from my home town 20 years ago, and she wasn’t a person to waste her time with Facebook and social media sites, so I was shocked to hear of her passing. I get to remember her as she was 30 years ago…a little wisp of a woman, who had a huge heart and an even bigger sense of humor. I wish she had known my kids, she would have loved them too.

My memory of her which I tell my kids often? She was my basketball coach (and P.E., Science and Art teacher…I had her for eight years straight) and during a game the referee came up to her.

“Coach your number ten is tripping people out there. I know she isn’t doing it on purpose but you might want to say something to her.” The referee explained.

She quickly sent a girl in for me as the referee protested “You don’t have to pull her out, I think she’s doing it on accident.”

She looked over at him and replied “That’s because you don’t know her…”

It was a favorite story she often reminded me of as I grew up. I was tripping them on purpose, it made taking the ball from them a lot easier. She knew me though, and how my mind worked.

I hope she knew I loved her too, and that her lessons weren’t lost on me. I stopped being a ‘snot head’, grew up and raised kids with laughter yet consequences, and I try not to whine too much.

Go rest my sweet friend.

“Yeah when I get where I’m going
There’ll be only happy tears
I will shed the sins and struggles
I have carried all these years
And I’ll leave my heart wide open
I will love and have no fear
Yeah when I get where I’m going
Don’t cry for me down here”

-Brad Paisley-

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