Some people never leave you, regardless of where they are on the planet (or not on this world). They leave a lasting legacy for you. Their experiences, advice and modeling behavior shape you to be who you become.
Today was one of those mornings that was impossible to get out of bed. I skipped over washing my hair for the 4th day in a row (gross), and picked out a decent looking “fat” shirt to match my mood, but still look somewhat presentable. Pony tail day. You know those.
Not that it was a bad morning, but it was blah, and I developed a headache that wouldn’t go away. My projects at work were taking forever to complete. I started thinking about rounding up a lunch of some sort from the random, dwindling food of mine in the kitchenette when I got a call from our receptionist, “Leah, there’s a Kara Pabon sitting across from me that says she has a hug for you if you’ll accept it.”
Rewind 10 years. An insecure senior in high school. I spent most of my free time in either the “senior lounge” or in Miss Pabon’s office. She taught me to play guitar. She listened to my teenage angst and troubles of life and concerns about my future. My broken heart from a past boyfriend. My wavering faith and my recent trip to Southeast Asia that left me feeling empty and black inside. She gave me a voice through music as my band teacher and impromptu guitar instructor.
My heart grew a million times with her encouragement, and I knew I could face college with her advice and my newly achieved life skills. I owe a lot to Kara Pabon, who was younger than my age now during my high school days. Could I have been a mentor for a young girl at 25? I don’t know. But I should strive to be one now.
Fast forward back to this afternoon. I quickly glanced in the mirror to make sure I look not-dead before heading downstairs to greet my old confidante, Miss Kara Pabon. She looks the same since I last saw her at least six years ago. Same warm smile with eyes that see the best qualities in every single person. Kara is just in town today as she is heading back to China tomorrow where she has lived for the last several years. She just happened to see Joy’s House on her way to lunch with a friend and recognized it from my posts on Facebook. On a whim, she stopped in to see me.
So touched. Suddenly my dirty hair and headache don’t seem to matter. I just got transported back to my happy, go-get-em memories as a 19-year-old.
Kara is a living example of what I hope to become. What a fantastic surprise to my day, and a gentle reminder to reach out to those you care about. Keep in touch.
Tags: high school, Joy's House, memories, mentor, role model
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