Today, I just got back from a very special person’s funeral.
This amazing, beautiful lady helped my mom, siblings, and me right after my dad was killed.
My sisters and I took ballet, tap, and jazz lessons from this phenomenal lady; my mom and aunt also took dance lessons from her when they were children.
My teacher was 99 years old, had visited 15 countries so she could bring fresh ideas to her dance studio, and was still teaching dance lessons a few months shy of her 100th birthday!
After my dad died, my dance teacher knew how hard losing my dad was to our family, but she encouraged my mom to keep us in dance lessons…she even told my mom she wanted to bless my sisters and me with a 50% discount off of our dance lessons for life.
I frequently wondered why my dance teacher was always so wonderful to my mom, siblings, and me after my dad died.
Today, at her funeral, I found out why.
At the funeral, they shared how my teacher had an extraordinarily hard life when she was young. They also shared how she, her 5 siblings, and parents lost their home (and everything else they owned) right after the Great Depression.
A wonderful, kind lady saw how much my dance teacher and her family was hurting, so she stepped in and helped my dance teacher to attend college.
I loved hearing that!
For my teacher to have lost everything, she understood how my mom must’ve felt when she lost her “everything,” (and how devastated us kids were to lose our daddy)—so she stepped in and tried to alleviate our family’s pain, the same way someone had so kindly done for her years before. ❤️
Today, how can YOU pay it forward?
Who has helped you in life, or been there for you when you were down…or when you felt like you lost your “everything”?
Who do you know who is going through a life struggle? How can you breathe encouragement into them? Who can you help love back to life?
One day, we’re all going to die.
How do you want people to remember you?
I will ALWAYS remember my amazing dance teacher as someone who deeply loved my mom, my siblings, and me…and who made a big difference and great impact in our lives.
Attending dance lessons helped me through my dad’s death…hurt feelings in elementary school…mean girl issues in middle school…breakups with boyfriends…and “life”…as I attended her classes several times each week for years.
She remained a treasured family friend —especially a very close friend to my mom— even after I stopped taking dance lessons and I became a mom. She even came to my book signing party after my first book was published.
She and my mom had a very special friendship, exchanging birthday and Christmas presents as well as “I’m thinking of you” cards and gifts throughout the year.
I’m beyond grateful God placed my dance teacher on my heart this past Christmas. I’ll always remember how her face lit up when I dropped off some fresh flowers at her house to tell her thank you for all she had done for my mom and me. The flowers brought her heart so much joy!
Today, what special family member or friend is God placing on your heart to reach out to?
Call them…don’t wait.
Take someone out for coffee…send someone a sweet card…do something extra special for someone…tell a family member or friend “thanks!“
You just never know when the chance to tell someone “thank you” or “I love you” will expire. And, you never know what an incredible impact you’ll make!
How can YOU pay it forward today? ❤️
Gratitude & blessings,
©2015 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.
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