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Treasure the one who influenced you most

By Staff | Mar 25, 2016

Is there a person in your life who stands out as a role model? One to whom you can attribute influences in your life? If so, treasure that person. Tell him or her exactly how they have changed your life.

I have such a person in my life and I was thrilled to invite her to The Chronicle office this week and to share lunch at The Blue Moon. That special lady, Donna Crowley, taught me fourth grade at Hillsboro (Va.) Elementary School. And although I can assure you that fourth grade was many, many years ago for me, the love and admiration I have for her has only grown over the years.

We have kept in touch since those days in Hillsboro, both in writing and with personal visits. She has celebrated with me at graduations (she and her husband,?Mark, traveled to Fredericksburg, Virginia for my college graduation), my marriage, the birth of my children and then their graduations and life changes.

Donna (which it took me years to be able to call her) has influenced me in more ways than I can say. Her prayers in class each morning and before meals showed me it was acceptable to be a believer in Christ. When I?was baptized, she was there. I know that she prays regularly for me and my family–something that is valuable beyond measure.

She influenced my choice of career as I headed off to college to become a teacher. While that didn’t quite thrill me the way I hoped–she nevertheless encouraged me when I began writing and is, to me, amusingly excited to read my stories and editorials.

Her encouragement for any endeavor I may decide to embark upon has always been consistent and given with love. I honestly can say that I cannot imagine my life without her in it.

Each time we write or talk, we learn and share something new. I?never knew until our lunch this week that she graduated from Shepherd. To watch her expressions as she looked about at the changes over the years since she was here was priceless.

If you have someone in your life who has had such a profound influence on you–let them know. Share time and create new memories if possible.

A lunch, a hug, a written note all are important in keeping alive a relationship that is more valuable over time. Never take for granted that there will be a tomorrow–share your feelings today.