“This is Sarah Goodner. This is Quinn. This is today.
Sarah was Quinn’s first-grade teacher. Quinn started first grade at a brand new school 4 days after watching her dad die. Matt was adamant she start on time so she wouldn’t have to be the ‘new’ kid and the ‘missed the first few weeks’ kid.
Quinn is a touch-me-not. She initiates hugs, and my heart explodes because I know when she does that, she loves that person big. I tell everyone if you get a hug from her, she loves you, so you better enjoy it.
A few weeks into the school year, while Sarah and I were talking about how Quinn was doing, she said they have lunchtime hugs. At first, it shocked me because in those first few weeks she was very standoffish. Her whole world had just come crashing down around her, and she was expected to go to school and behave like every other kid there while suffering a loss no one could really understand. But she just kept reaching out and hugging her teacher.
The two of them formed a special bond. Before school started, when Matt was dying, Sarah came today our house so he could be a part of ‘meet the teacher.’ This meant the world to him and to us. He didn’t make it to see her first day of ‘big school,’ but cancer didn’t rob him of the excitement of seeing her with her first big school teacher. Quinn said afterward, ‘Daddy knows Mrs. Goodner and loves Mrs. Goodner, and I do, too.’
Teachers are special people. In a time where we as parents are all doing the very best we can do for our kids, teachers are, too. Administrators, principals, superintendents — they are all trying to figure out how to navigate this virus and its impact on our children. The same teachers who will pull your child out of a burning school if they have to and throw themselves in front of an armed gunman are the same ones working tirelessly now to prepare a safe classroom for our kids to go back to grow, learn and thrive in.
Pray for them. Be kind to them. And, if you get the chance, put on your godforsaken mask and give them a hug. Lord knows they all need it right now.
We don’t know what the 2020-21 school year will look like yet. But I hope Quinn ends up with a teacher with even a fraction of the heart Mrs. Goodner has. And I hope she doesn’t mind lunchtime hugs.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Cyndi Smith of Moody, Alabama. Follow her journey on her website here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more stories from Cyndi:
‘I feel like I’m dying.’ He started going downhill. He was diagnosed with the flu, and sent home to rest.’: Woman loses young husband to incurable colon cancer, ‘I know how much he loved me’
‘I carried his ashes. I carried them in a box all over the airport. I didn’t want to put him on the floor. It didn’t feel right.’: Woman’s journey to return her husband’s ashes to his home
‘Unprompted by any of us, she began drawing in the sand. ‘I love you’. It took my breath away thinking about her leaving messages in the sand to her dad.’: Widow and young daughter visit Wales to spread husband’s ashes
‘He quietly wrote, ‘Before I die, I want to see my Quinn grow up.’ We never thought for a second he wouldn’t.’: Widow shares how husband understood the value of a moment, always ‘showed up’
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