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October 28, 2008

God Loves You Best,

Thalia C. Sanders

Thalia “Connie” Sanders, and


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Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 14:26:49 -0400

.ExternalClass .EC_hmmessage P {padding:0px;} .ExternalClass body.EC_hmmessage {font-size:10pt;font-family:Tahoma;} This is a very touching story.


As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first

day of school, she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she

looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same.

However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in

his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that

he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were

messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be

unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take

delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X’s and

then putting a big ‘F’ at the top of his papers.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to

review each child’s past records and she put Teddy’s off until last.

However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.

Teddy’s first grade teacher wrote, ‘Teddy is a bright child with

a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners… he is a

joy to be around..’

His second grade teacher wrote, ‘Teddy is an excellent student,

well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has

a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.’

His third grade teacher wrote, ‘His mother’s death has been hard

on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn’t show much

interest, and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren’t


Teddy’s fourth grade teacher wrote, ‘Teddy is withdrawn and

doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and

he sometimes sleeps in class.’

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed

of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas

presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for

Teddy’s. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that

he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the

middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when

she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a

bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the

children’s laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was,

putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist. Teddy

Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, ‘Mrs.

Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to.’

After the children left, she cried for at least an hour. On that

very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead,

she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to

Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more

she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year,

Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite

her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one

of her ‘teacher’s pets..’

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy,

telling her that she was the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He

then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she

was still the best teacher he ever had in life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while

things had been tough at times, he’d stayed in school, had stuck with

it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honours. He

assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favourite teacher

he had ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This

time he explained that after he got his bachelor’s degree, he decided to

go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best

and favourite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little

longer…. The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.

The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another

letter that spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be

married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and

he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in

the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of

course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the

one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was

wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their

last Christmas together.

They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs.

Thompson’s ear, ‘Thank you Mrs. Thompson for believing in me. Thank you

so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a


Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said,

Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I

could make a difference. I didn’t know how to teach until I met you.’

(For you that don’t know, Teddy Stoddard is the Doctor at Iowa

Methodist in Des Moines that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing.)

Warm someone’s heart today. . . pass this along. I love this

story so very much, I cry every time I read it. Just try to make a

difference in someone’s life today? tomorrow? just ‘do it’.

Random acts of kindness, I think they call it!

‘Believe in Angels, then return the favor’

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