It’s time again for the Carnival of Genealogy and the topic this time around is “A Tribute To Women”. Jasia has asked us to “Write a tribute to a woman on your family tree, a friend, a neighbor, or a historical female figure who has done something to impact your life. Or instead of writing, consider sharing a photo biography of one woman’s life. Or create a scrapbook page dedicated to a woman you’d like to honor. For extra credit, sum up her life in a six-word biography.”
When I sat down to write this I wrestled with who I should write about. Call me a wimp but I just dont’ want to upset anyone if I pick this one or that one. So, to keep peace in the family I have decided to write about my 4th-grade teacher, Mrs. Harper.
When I was in the 4th grade (around 1972) teachers were a little bit different than they are now. I hope no one takes that as an offense. It just seems that teachers today don’t have as much one on one time with students as they did back then. Mrs. Harper was a very kind and caring woman. She was probably in her early 60s during this time. I don’t remember a lot about her except that she was one of my favorite teachers. The main point I want to make is that she took the time to pull me aside one day and tell me something that has stuck with me through the rest of my adult life. I had just gone through a very terrible time. You see, my best friend and I had fought one day and it was a good one. Later that night I was on my way to see him and to try to make things right when I learned that he had been killed while trying to cross the street. I have always assumed that he was trying to come see me at the time. It was a very sad time for me. It was during this time that Mrs. Harper pulled me to the side and let me know her philosophy about fighting. She knew I regretted what had happened. She told me a line that everyone has told folks before and that is still being told today. However, I took that line to heart and it made me a different man. I come from a family that loves to fight. My whole family loves to fight. I’m different now.
What did she tell me? Simply this, “It takes a bigger man to walk away from a fight than it does to start one!” Very simple and I’m sure she thought I would just blow it off. I’ve lived by that ever since that day. I haven’t had a fist-fight since then. I’m not a wimp. I’ll defend my family if need be and I have served in the defense of my country. I just learned that it was easier to just walk away. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve had people in my face and ready to throw down and I just turn and walk away and nothing happens.
For me, that is something that I will always be thankful for. I’m glad that Mrs. Harper took the time to talk to a dirty little 10 year old boy. I just wish there were a way to tell her about the impact she had on my life. My title is my six word biography for her!
Thanks so much for caring, Mrs. Harper!