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  • Hollie Mealy

A Hug for the Belly

There are certain moments that are ingrained in my brain from when my Dad was sick. One being the Thanksgiving Dinner we received after having been in the hospital 3 hours away from home for several days. Check the archives on #WriteRelief to read more.


Another moment that I will always remember is the day we met with the funeral director after he passed away. We were sitting at our kitchen table in my childhood home in Peshtigo. A few extended family members had come for the meeting. I remember it being a cloudy, cold day and the lights were dim in the house. There was a knock on the front door. I got up to answer it and my mouth dropped. It was my kindergarten teacher who I hadn't seen in years (I was 24 at the time!). She saw we were busy and gave me a quick hug and left me standing in the doorway with two huge containers of still warm chicken noodle soup. I don't even remember what I said I was so shocked. That kind gesture and of course the delicious soup was the relief my family needed that day. It was a hug for our bellies.


Having gone into elementary education myself, I can't even describe the "love" us kindergarten teachers have for our students. They are our "kids." Mrs. Menor carried that loving attitude ahead 19 years and I am so thankful. She also taught my sister and in our high school cross country/track years was there supporting us and her own children. It is one huge benefit of having grown up in a small town.


Kindergarten "back then" was only half day. I loved school and started my quest to be a teacher that year I'm sure. I remember making gingerbread houses out of milk cartons. The patience from teachers that a project like that takes is immense! I also remember one particular day at snack time. It was another student's birthday and she hadn't brought a birthday treat. Mrs. Menor made her feel special anyway by letting her pass out a whole graham cracker to everyone (instead of the standard half we got on a non-birthday snack day). It is small gestures like these that made Mrs. Menor such a good teacher and I will forever be grateful for her warmth and generosity when my family needed it the most!




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