31 Days, 31 People
Day 07: MRS. McHENRY

English Literature 9–11 grade. And a World Literature class somewhere along the way. It took me a bit to get into it but by about 10th grade, my love for English Literature was sparked and Mrs. McHenry was a huge reason for that. Sometimes I imagine her reading the things I post, wincing at the technical side of things. I always tell myself I’ll refresh my skill set around that stuff but it never quite happens.

A passionate teacher is the best kind because you know they love what they do, and odds are you’re going to love it, too. That sort of passion is infectious. I was definitely infected. I still love how much she loved Shakespeare. I loved reading Chaucer. I loved the poetry. All of it.

I remember how in love she was with Mr. McHenry when they married. And I remember when he passed away, too soon after they married. I always felt like I should’ve known what to say to her because I’d lost my brother. Like that should have given me some sort of insight of understanding and clarity that could be articulated in exactly the right, most respectful way. I could never find words and instead I found I awkwardly avoided the topic.

Mrs. McHenry, I’m so sorry it took me this long to brave up enough to simply express my care for you and sadness for your loss.

I still struggle with finding words or ways to express care and love in loss situations. But I am so grateful for Mrs. McHenry. She taught me love for the amazing written word. She taught me that pain and grace do not have to be separate.



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