Skip to main content

Mrs. Galindo

When I walked into her classroom on the first day of 4th grade, I was immediately drawn to her.  She was Hispanic like me.  My father had been encouraging me to do well in school and aspire to college one day, but I had not really thought of my future at that age.  I dreamt of being a ballerina or a cowgirl, but here was a real life Hispana and she was a teacher.

I always liked school.  Scratch that, I always liked to learn. Sometimes I knew that I would have to do more on my own than the teacher could teach me; sometimes I knew I would have to stay on my toes to keep up with the class. Mrs. Galindo was one of those teachers.

She pushed us all to do better, learn more, ask questions. She would call us, one by one, to her desk during silent reading time to counsel us on our grades.  I beamed when she praised me for my work and it encouraged me to work harder.

On occasion, she caught me passing notes, whispering to my girlfriends, and winking at boys.  She would gently remind me to wait until lunch time or recess to speak with my friends.  She said it was disrespectful to talk in class. A lady never chases boys, she said.  She lets them chase her.

I tried my best to be a lady and a good student, but sometimes I reverted to my old self. 

On the last day of school, she gave each one of us a Holy Card with a personal note on the back. Mine said she loved me as much as she loved her one and only daughter Linda.  She lined us up and shook hands with each one when it came time to say goodbye, but she hugged me to her and I sobbed.

I don’t recall the name of my fifth grade teacher.  She was forgettable, so was the year except for my friends and seeing Mrs. Galindo on the playground or at lunch time. There was always a huge smile and hug waiting for me.

I dreaded the start of the next school year. My brother was a year ahead of me and had told me horror stories about the sixth grade. I walked into the classroom surprised to find it decorated with cheerful posters and maps and book stations everywhere.  Maybe my brother had exaggerated. 

Then Mrs. Galindo walked into the classroom with her angelic smile and twinkly eyes.
Now don’t think for a minute, ladies and gentlemen, that we will repeat what we learned in the fourth grade.  Oh no, she said.  I have been studying and preparing all summer to teach you sixth grade material and keep you on your toes.  It will not be easy.

 We all gave a cheer.  She winked at me.  
*   *   *   *   *

The last time I saw her she was shopping at a Wal-Mart with her daughter.  I was in my forties, married, with kids the age she once taught. She recognized me immediately.  A few years later I read her obituary in the paper.  I cut it out and hugged it to me.

God sends us angels in many forms.


Popular posts from this blog

Happy Breastday to Me!

I gave myself a very special birthday present this year – I had surgery. Before you think it was to increase, decrease, or “lift” something, let me tell you it was not cosmetic (though I could probably use a few nips and tucks at my age; the infinite number of creams I buy OTC are not working their promised magic). About four or five months ago, I discovered a hard lump about the size of a large marble in my left armpit.  I had been feeling small pangs of pain in my left chest for several months, but I figured it was just my turn to dance with heart disease.  Everyone in my immediate family is diabetic and suffers from strokes or heart attacks, so I thought – here we go; my turn. I was going to tell my internist about the pangs during my next visit, so imagine my surprise when I discovered the lump. The Drama Queen in me immediately manifested herself – cancer, I thought.  I have cancer. I searched some more and found that the texture on the left side of my left breast felt diffe

Dating Challenged

I stink at dating – always have.   I sputter.   I hyperventilate.   I fail miserably every time. I blame a pathetically underdeveloped gene that got little use before I married in my early twenties, then atrophied, gathering dust and rust, until I became single again in my fifties.   I decided to use this defect to my advantage when I needed to do some investigative reporting a few years back.   While on a newspaper writing assignment on Boomer-aged dating, I sacrificed my dignity and my vanity for the sake of the story (and I got several). Thank goodness, HoneyBunch saved me from all this when we married.  (He comes up with the best dates.) I’ve decided I will “show you mine if you show me yours.”   I will swap dating horror stories with you, but you have to promise to play along. The trick here is to tell about your worst date in 25 words or less.   You must keep it clean and you cannot name names. Our little contest will run only this week and before my next blogger posting.   Me

Grandma’s Dining Table

Twenty five years ago my first husband and I bought a new home with four bedrooms and three baths, but my favorite part of the house was the enormous room you walked into from the front door. It had no dividing wall but the design was to use half of it as a formal living and the other half as a formal dining. From the beginning I decided to make it into one huge dining room that would catch the eye when everyone walked in through the front door of my home.   My three children were very young, but I envisioned them grown and married. We counted five at the time, but one day we would grow to eight, maybe more if we factored in grandchildren, so I bought a table that sat a family of twelve.  My husband thought it silly to look that far ahead and convinced me to buy only ten chairs. The room looked magnificent – the long, majestic table, the ten chairs, the buffet, a couple of real ficus, and a few other nice pieces of furniture – I was pleased. The table lasted longer than t