Runaway Ralph

What comes to mind when you hear the word legacy?

This morning, I heard the radio announcer talk about “teacher appreciation week” and this triggered an old memory… The book, Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary, impacted my life tremendously when I was in the third grade. However, to be fully honest, it wasn’t the book as much as it was the person who read the story to me. Miss Rischette would read to us every day after recess, and I remember vividly the story about the adventurous mouse named Ralph and his motorcycle.

It is amazing how life can put the right person with the right message into your life at the right moment, and because they showed up your life will never be the same.

Gordon MacDonald

Life wasn’t easy for me in third grade. My parents had recently divorced, and I was living in a new town and attending a new school. I don’t really remember a lot from this time, but for some reason I remember Miss Rischette, and I remember this book. Something about the story, and the adventurous little mouse named Ralph, caught my attention then and still holds it today.

I still have a copy of the book. It has somehow managed to stay on my shelf through several moves. My daughter is in third grade this year and I recently gave her the book and asked her to read it to me before bed (about a chapter a night). Funny thing, as she was reading the story I noticed that this book is likely the exact copy that was read to me. Why? It turns out the book is property of my old elementary school, as evident by the numerous stamps inside, and I must have stole it (or borrowed it and never returned it).

From my shelf, with a bit of age and wear (like me)
Thanks Bethlehem Lutheran School for lending this book to me. It changed my life….

I will reach out to my old school, and let them know the investment they made in me has paid great dividends. Maybe they will offer to give me the book? But most importantly I look forward to sharing this story with Miss Rischette and thanking her for pouring into me, and into the lives of so many others, and to let her know the impact she has made. We don’t see the legacy we create, but when we act boldly in love we create meaningful change. I am forever grateful for her love and teaching, and the impact she has made in me and my family.

Have you ever had someone show up with the right message, the right kind of influence, and at the right time; and because they showed up your life will never be the same? I strongly suggest you take a moment to thank them and to realize the impact they have made. I also hope that this story, or your own, helps convince you that you should build into others. You may never see the impact you make, but if you do it right, generations from now will be impacted.

Legacy isn’t really about what you do, it is about what you leave behind

Douglas Diemel

To all the teachers and mentors who have shaped my life… THANK YOU. I am blessed by knowing you and hope to carry your wisdom forward.

Have a great week and wish you the best

Douglas Diemel

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