Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dear Abby....

Just wrapped up a one week Mini-Term of Macroeconomics.  8AM 'til 4:30PM for 5 days of Econ! Sounds exciting right?  Anyway, just when you're starting to wonder if you're having an impact on student's get an e-mail like this.  Hope it touches you as it did me.  Thanks, Miss Abby!

Mr. Fisher,
I just wanted to let you know how much of an encouragement you were to me over
this past week. My father passed away when I was 18 (in March of 2008), he
battled bone cancer when he was in his 20’s and the Dr’s had to amputate his
left leg at the hip. He only had a 10% chance of living through the surgery
(since they didn’t have the medical technology they have today) and said if he
made it and was fitted for a prosthetic leg, it would be 200 times harder for
him to walk than a “regular” healthy human. He made it through all of that and
met my mom a few years later and got married and had all 4 of us kids and even
though he was disabled he never let that hider him from doing all that he could
do. He worked as a project manager for IBM up until about a year before he
passed away. The cancer came back when I was about 16 years old. All of that to
say… he was a better man, husband to his wife, and father to his children in his
short life even with his disability than most of my friend’s fathers were and
still are. His faith in the Lord kept him strong and made our family stronger.
The first day of your class would have been his 58th birthday, and when you
wheeled into the classroom and started telling us a little bit about your life I
sat up there in the front row holding back my tears because you reminded me so
much of my dad. I really respect and appreciate the way you talk about your
family, I know they mean so much to you and it reminds me of the good times (and
some of the same struggles…. Gas station stops, daily chores, etc.) that my
family had. The way you are living your life will benefit your children so much
as they grow up, knowing that life is so precious and to never take things for
granted, and that even though some people may look different than we do, we are
all the same in the eyes of Christ.
I appreciate your love for teaching and I truly believe that God is using you
to change the lives of many young college students. You are a very gifted
teacher… trust me there aren’t very many people who can lecture about
macroeconomics for 8 hours a day and still make it interesting! And your
testimony is certainly moving, I am thankful for you sharing some of that with
us.  I thank you for having the strength to turn your disability into a gift. I
came home every day after class telling my mom the different stories you had
told us in class about your family, and we both laughed and cried as it reminded
us of the bittersweet memories of my dad.
Thank you for all of your encouragement, my family and I will continue to pray
for you and your family and that God will continue to use your story to lead
others to Him.
         In Christ,
                 Abby Richburg

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