Friday, May 28, 2021

Poetry Friday -- Gratitudes

Dear Poetry Friday Peeps,

I feel like there has been a wrinkle in time, and I am right back where I was last week. 

A week ago, I had completed a rigorous day-by-day to-do list that culminated in packing for a weekend away at a Casting for Recovery alumni reunion. On Thursday evening, I ignored Franki's "How are you feeling?" text and crashed. I will finish my Poetry Friday post in the morning, I told myself. 

But you all had other plans for Friday, didn't you? 😁 😉

There are no words to describe what the gift of your words means to me. I've said "Gobsmacked" on more than one occasion. I'm also humbled, dazzled, blushing, teary, and filled with gratitude. To Franki for hatching this plan, to Irene and Christie for helping to make it happen, and to all of you -- thank you, thank you, thank you!

The hardest thing about this gift is that I've only been able to begin to take peeks at all of the posts. I tried to get started while at the retreat, but the weather was too nice, the bluegills were biting, and the trails needed hiking. Then, when I got home Sunday, I hit the ground running. There was another week-long rigorous day-by-day to-do list: the last of the grading, report cards, RTI plans, field day, final preparations of student gifts, bringing home the last big items from the classroom, and then, last night, after the In Real Life meet-up of my Wright Elementary and Depp Elementary Team Hahn students at a park halfway between the two schools, like last Thursday night, I crashed. I will finish my Poetry Friday post in the morning, I told myself. 

And now here I am. Friday. The last day of the 37th week of my 37th year of teaching. How am I feeling? Tired. Fulfilled. Devoid of regrets. Amazed. I did this thing. 

Finally, FINALLY, I will be able to read through last week's roundup and savor your words. You will help me to look back and reflect on a the magnitude of my impact. I think that's probably the biggest gift you have given me. In case I ever doubted myself (actually, for all the many many times I failed and doubted and despaired), you have shown me -- unequivocally -- that I've made a difference in the world. 

What a gift. 

Thank you.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.


  1. Enjoy this 37th day of your 37th year, Mary Lee. I know you know that love will carry you through all the hours of goodbyes!

  2. Hope you have a dazzling final day -- I know it will be bittersweet. Congratulations again on 37 years, and thank you for continuing to inspire, support, and nurture us all. :) xo

  3. Oh Mary Lee! What a beautiful post. Thank you! What a week you have had. 37th week of the 37th year--amazing! Finishing a rich and full career, and then some lovely tributes to encourage you into the next chapter. All the best!

  4. This post is thanks enough. We are all with you in these last few weeks of school. The to-do list is too long and the night's sleep too short. Rest, Mary Lee. You deserve it.

  5. Perhaps there's a poem in that,
    "The last day of the 37th week of my 37th year of teaching," or a story… Thank you for all you keep inspiring us with!

  6. I'm so glad. I'm so glad. What a great time we all had creating something for you. I love all the many, many ways poets responded to Franki's call. Cheers to you and some much deserved rest.

  7. Mary Lee, reading through the posts of praise was such a wonderful feeling. I wish you many more amazing days on your retirement journey. May it be filled with many walks, reflections, and adventures. I am sure that your daily card is filled with many dances so take your time, relax, and know that we all love you for your enthusiasm, poetry love, skill, and just being you.

  8. Oh, what a beautiful thank you post. I'm so glad you're "devoid of regrets" and able to recognize the difference you've made for so many. Enjoy the loosening of your schedule and the choices of the days ahead!

  9. Mary Lee, I am thrilled for you, It sounds like you are savoring it all.
    Your thank you is beautiful and I am taken back to a mere three years ago.
    My favorite line in your post: “The last day of the 37th week of the 37th year. “ Poetry in that.
    I hope you will head to a place to decompress and will be gentle with yourself during this new adventure.

  10. I'm SO happy this made you so happy! Wishing you a wonderful retirement!

  11. You deserve all the gobsmacks, in the very best, superlative sense of the word, Mary Lee. :) Congrats again on a long and beautiful career! xo


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