Id like to share with you today a lady that was a part of my teenage years. Her name is Helen, I referred to her as Mrs Drake.
Mrs Drake was my year coordinator when I started year seven, my first year in high school… Mrs Drake was the one who got to meet a bunch of newbies trying to fit into Mary MacKillop college in Wakeley. We were all fresh from primary school trying to find ourselves and our identities in our new surroundings. She handled it like a champion.
Throughout my high school years, I was fortunate enough to have Mrs Drake as my home room colour coordinator and on my senior years, she was my English teacher.
I really liked Mrs Drake, I wasn’t the easiest of students, but she knew I had a soft spot for her.
When I returned to the school, Mrs Drake was happy to see me, she had a laugh and told me she was always ready to hear my latest joke or what I was up to that was unrelated to school… Yet taking place in school time. She said I kept her busy, but she missed me.
The years passed and Helen Drake was a memory I held with me. She was also my inspiration with writing, she knew I loved it and told me to pursue it when I left school. I didn’t until recently.
Next year the school is having a 25th year anniversary in honour of the opening of the school. I am looking forward to attending, Mrs Drake was on my list of visits.
On the 31st of Ausgust 2015…. Mrs Drake passed. I didn’t believe it at first, but I googled her obituary. It’s confirmed… She has passed.
The last time I saw her, ( many years ago) I told Mrs Drake I appreciated her, I know how she felt about me and I apologised for being a pain in the butt as a teen. I said what I needed to when I last visited.
The death of Mrs Drake makes me realise… Teachers invest such a large amount of energy into forming who were are when we leave the comfort of the school. Teachers deal wth all the teenage bullshit most parents rip their hair out over.
I remember Mrs Drake would make you feel like somebody. She would praise you publicly but pull you aside to raise any concerns. She was kind.
Once she read an exam response of mine. She announced it to the class and praised me to the hills. She highlighted talent and always saw the good in people. Another time I received the highest mark for an Italian exam… She made sure that went unnoticed aswell.
Mrs Drake touched many lives whilst teaching at Mary MacKillop. May she rest in peace.
It’s a shame I didn’t make more time to go back to the school sooner and check in on the teachers.
Have you thanked someone that played a large role into who you are today?