"I appreciate you"


At the end of November 2017, my three-year-old son's teacher passed away; it was sudden and it was surreal. The day before she passed away, I spoke to her like I usually do; she took my son, who hated the morning "good-bye", from me, assuring me that he would be fine minutes after I'd leave, as he always was. Later that afternoon, she was interacting with parents and teachers at the pre-school's end-of-year concert. She was full of energy and vitality… and yet, less than 24-hours later, she was gone.

It left us all devastated. She had been with the school her entire teaching career – over 30 years of educating and growing young minds. She was an amazing teacher. She loved our children as if they were her own; she had a soft spot for my little boy – "He has three grown women wrapped around his little finger!" she would say with a big smile on her face; her eyes dancing with joy. 

The week leading up to her funeral, I was an emotional roller-coaster. As I placed a pot of small pink roses amongst the other bouquets at her parking bay, I sobbed. I realized then that I had never told her how much I appreciate her and how much she had meant to us. It is my biggest regret. I was waiting until the last day of school to thank her for everything: for being, not only an amazing teacher to my little boy, but a maternal figure to him too; for the occasional phone calls to say, "he's okay – he settled very soon after you left; you guys are doing such a good job with him." She didn't have to do that; but that's the kind of wonderful she was. She was our teacher as much as she was his.

Since then, I've told a number of people how much I appreciate them for their part in my life. I don't want to have that kind of regret again.

Who in your life do you appreciate and haven't yet told? If you haven't, why haven't you? My advice is, don't wait. Tell them. Life is unpredictable; life is short. We never know what tomorrow will bring.

As we come to the end the year, I want to thank all of you – those who attended my workshops, those who supported me, those who advised me, those who encouraged me - for playing your part in my 2017. I truly appreciate you. 

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