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An Earth Angel Named Linda

My daughter has always attended Special Education classes. As many of you know she is challenged with a diagnosis of low IQ, Asperger's Syndrome and OCD, just to name a few. She is very high functioning though, due mostly to the fact that I was not going to have a spoiled brat for a child, no matter what her limitations were.


Through grade school she was teased by other children unmercifully. Then in high school a miracle occurred. We had just moved to
Arizona from California, not that that was remotely related to this happenstance, but she was not teased any more. I believe that possibly by the time kids get into high school, they just can't be bothered with picking on the slower kids any longer. And so it was that Erin liked school for the first time in her life. She came home smiling, something we had never seen before. It was kind of scary.


In the tenth grade she took Home Economics from a teacher I will call Linda. This teacher took an instant liking to
Erin and they bonded instantly. She overlooked Erin's incapabilities and went more than the extra mile helping her in class. Erin even had a couple of friends in class and was getting along splendidly. She and Linda would talk all the time before and after school. At least, Erin would talk and Linda listened.

On one occasion it was discovered that they both watched the same soap opera, “Days Of Our Lives.” Well, now Erin was beside herself. She had someone to talk with about her show. She discovered one day that every year NBC studios holds a luncheon in honor of their fans. Erin mentioned this to Linda and the first thing you know this teacher is calling me asking if it would be alright if she took Erin to California to go to this luncheon. Believe me I knew this woman's background before I gave my consent. Erin had the time of her life with autographs and pictures galore from the event. She had her picture taken with her heartthrob and that's all she wrote. They even did a write up about her in the school paper. She was on cloud nine and never came down.


The year that she graduated,
Erin of course had no date for the prom. How could she without the social skills needed for such an event. To this day at 34 years old, I think she has had two dates, both disasterous. Linda, knowing that she and her friend had no dates for this special night, took both girls to a beauty salon for a day of beauty, then out for dinner and then on to the prom. She wanted them to at least experience some of it.


This weekend Erin and Linda are in LA attending the 45th anniversary of Days Of Our Lives; they have tickets for the Jay Leno show and they will have countless more adventures, all expenses paid by Linda. It will be a weekend that will live on in our household for a very long time.


Linda has never forgotten
Erin's birthday, Christmas and many other special occasions in the last 20 years. She is a one in a million teacher. But she is so much more than that. She is responsible in so many ways of making my daughter feel special, not because of her disabilities but in spite of them. No one can ever tell me that angels do not walk this earth, because I know one named Linda.