Tuesday, May 12, 2009

SURPRISE ! SURPRISE !

Several years ago, a group of Moms from our school got together to honor us teachers with a luncheon. It was held at Maria's Vineyard, a local home with much charm and beautiful gardens. Many weddings are held there, too. So, when the word went out that they were going to do another luncheon this year, I thought, "Oh, how nice of them." We all left school about the same time and travelled to the house. As soon as I walked in, I saw some friends who used to teach with us, and I thought, "Well, that was nice of Bonnie to invite these girls, too." But, only when she began to welcome everyone and said, "this luncheon is in honor of Tonja", did I finally realize I was the one being honored! I was floored...to say the least. Bonnie had some wonderful words to say. A former teacher who has moved away wrote a poem, which they printed out and framed for me. I was given gifts galore, and beautiful, sweet cards from everyone. The food was delicious, and the fellowship sweet! I was so humbled to think that they went to so much trouble for me.

This wonderful school that has allowed me to teach with them for 20 years, is the best. I heard so many words of affirmation and praise as to what I had accomplished with the students...but, in reality, the thankfulness is all mine. With the often chaotic and mostly upturned life I lead, FPPS has been a place of refuge for me. I have had a place where I could go, and leave the troubles behind, and just focus on the children. It has been a place where, when those troubles tried to follow me there, someone was always waiting with a hug, a word of encouragement, or a quick prayer between classes. Such support from Bonnie, our director, has always made my job such a joy. Even though I've heard it said that working with a group of women can be tedious at times...this has never been the case with our 'family' of teachers here at FP. Everyone is willing to step in and help shoulder the load for as long as is necessary. These ladies have blessed me, prayed for me, cried for me, cooked for me, even sang for me. And I love them all. My words can not do my feelings justice.

So, Bonnie, Paula, Daronda, Andi, Debbie G, Stephanie, Tina, April, TJ, Lynn, Mary Alice, Eve, Dawn, Jennifer, Donnell, Brenda, Jana, Jeanna, Debbie C, Allison, Kim, Sherrie, Rhonda, Angel,...and Ann, Anne, Diane, Kathy, Julie, Belinda, Sue, Katherine Y, Courtney, Regina, Katherine C, and Nita, who lives with Jesus...you have a place in my life, my memories, and my heart...forever.

To the Mom's who hosted the luncheon...a heartfelt thank-you for your servant hearts and your kindness toward us teachers. Thank-you for trusting us with your most prized possessions...your children.
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Yes, I had my camera with me...However, a camera without a little card thingy is no good. DUH!!! But, there were pics taken and I will share them with you as soon as I get them.

5 comments:

andi said...

And you my dear will forever be stamped on our hearts and lives. Say "HELLO."

Say "GOODBYE!" LOL.

Even though there really isn't a good bye. I will miss you so much. My boys will miss you too!!!!!!!!!!! Who will I play jokes on????????

Musicaljean said...

That was so nice of them. I feel a little jealous of you, actually. I hope that someday I won't have to work so hard. But whenever I do leave, it will be bittersweet for sure.

nancygrayce said...

Your time there and with all those children will be so blessed! Now it's time to lounge by the pool!!!

justabeachkat said...

How very nice! I'm so proud of you. What a blessing you have been to so many for 20 years. 20 years!! Can't wait to see photos.

Hugs!
Kat

Gail said...

I just loved this story of good-by...Dothan has such heart. Great people living right there. I miss it so and you remind me why...Hope your day is a blessed one.