Our district has an excellent reputation for the work we do with children that have special needs. It’s an honor that we appreciate … most of the time.
Like this past week.
We had received a letter from a professor at one of the local colleges requesting observation hours in my program for one of their undergraduates. I began corresponding by e-mail with the student about when to schedule time for her to come to my campus and work on completing those hours.
Her salutation in her last e-mail to me threw me back ten years to when hubby & I were living in Florida. She began her e-mail: “Dear Mrs. Gouda …”
No one has called me “Mrs. Gouda” since we moved back home ten years ago. It’s a “southern” show of respect for young people to call their elders “Mr. (first name)” or “Mrs. (first name).” I am, for the most part, called “Mrs. Hubby’s wife” by the younger tribe members. Like I tell my students, I’ll answer to just about anything … as long as it doesn’t begin with, “Hey You!”
But I digress …
I looked at this e-mail from this young undergrad and was wisked back into my memories of a sweet friend I had back in Florida with the same last name … and she had two daughters at the time, the youngest with the same first name as my student observer. I heard from another good friend that she and her family were moving to my area several years ago, but no one was able to give me a good phone number or address. With their last name being as common as it is, I wasn’t able narrow my search down enough to feel comfortable calling everyone in the area that might have been a match. So I was hopeful, yet doubtful, that this could actually be who I suspected it might be.
My undergrad observer was scheduled to meet me Friday morning. I walked into the front office where she was waiting for me and my jaw dropped.
It. was. her!
Granted, ten years older, but I would recognize her anywhere. Losing all professionalism, I grabbed her into a giant hug and told her how I had hoped it would be true.
She, really not knowing what in the world was going on, had probably thought she was being assaulted by a mad woman. Poor thing! I explained what I meant and she started laughing ..albeit, nervously. Her mom, she told me, had just left that morning to head back to Florida.
My heart fell. Then I remembered that her mom’s family is from Florida. I asked if she was going back to visit family. Yes!
Joy! I have a second opportunity to reconnect with my long-lost friend!
God is good all the time.
And all the time, God is good.
Even when we in no way deserve it.