When I found out my book was going to be published I began to think about my love for writing and where it all began. Aside from my father's incredible love for books and his gift of passing that on to me, I thought of the person who influenced me in writing the most.
This is Ms. Margaret O'Farrell. My high school creative writing teacher. I knew I had to acknowledge her in my book because of her teaching, insight and obvious love for writing that forever changed my life. If I hadn't met her, perhaps I wouldn't be a writer today. Her class was our safe haven. We felt supported and free and able to express ourselves in her class through her writing exercises, stories, movies and dramatic readings. She would read to us, sometimes an excerpt from a book, sometimes a chapter, a poem. She taught with such excitement and creativity and empowered all of us to express ourselves without fear. It was a life changing and altering experience. Now looking back I can only think of that great movie Dead Poets Society where the students at the prep school were changed and influenced dramatically by Robin Williams character. I recall as they stood and chanted "Oh Captain my Captain!" Well back then, that time, that classroom, she was our Captain.
Well a few days ago, after endless searching on the Internet, I found a number I thought was hers and called. I left a message and thankfully to my surprise I heard her loving voice tonight.
I can't tell you how it made me feel . . .
to hear her voice after all these years, to know that I had her support and admiration (the admiration coming from someone I have admired for so long)
We exchanged information and I promised her I would let her know the minute my book is released.
Funny how life is, how we are all connected and can connect even after so many years.
I believe people come into our lives at different moments in time. Some come in because we need to discover their purpose and others come at points in our lives where we need assistance, a push an embrace. . . they leave their mark.
I was forever marked by the gift of this teacher and tonight I was blessed by her recognition and her kind and healing words.
Thank you Ms. O'Farrell. You are a treasure and a gift.
Lisa "Mona" Hee hee! Tell Ms. Upton I loved her too and her Jaime Summers sticker on her podium was so cool!