October 29, 2011

dear mr. salasar,

i always wanted to teach.  ever since i was a child.  you said i would make a great teacher someday, remember that?  i thought about writing you so i could let you know that i actually became a teacher - and a pretty good one for that matter.  well, to be honest, it may have taken me a couple of years to really learn how to teach well.  but then life took me down so many different paths and now i don't teach anymore.  i really miss it, though.

but i still think about you every now and then.  i still remember our english classes.  you were my teacher for two or three years back when i was a teenager.  and you were probably...  sixty-five, maybe seventy?  you were my oldest teacher and most definitely the wisest.

remember all those stories you used to tell your students about when you were young?  i remember them all so well, maybe because you must have told us the same ones dozens of times.  you always managed to get our attention with your stories.  we didn't mind listening to them over and over again.  it was just like re-reading a great book...

oh, your life as a young adult was so cool!  i loved to hear all about those years when you were living in paris how awesome is that?  you told us about the time when you started writing.  about being a writer and a teacher.  about your four daughters and how they all managed to marry well (and your sons-in-law being all foreigners).  but i must confess i always wondered why you were still teaching back then, when you could have been enjoying your retirement.  and if you were still married, because you only talked about your daughters, never about your wife.  i always wondered what had happened to your leg - maybe you'd had an accident.  but you never talked about those things, so we never asked.

remember how you always said i should travel abroad and see the world?  i did.  i've been to a bunch of places and i've met so many different people...  you couldn't have been more right!  i loved it and i really wanted you to know that.  i thought you'd be proud. 

i remember once you gave me one of the books you wrote.  and as i opened it, i saw that handwriting of yours.  it read: "to a great student, a bright mind".  how thoughtful of you!  i started reading your book as soon as i got home and i got to know you a little bit more because of it.  remember that character who said: "i will never open the door to the End. (...)  if it wants, it might as well sneak in through the window.  but i will not open the door to the End".  i loved that story.

that man was you, wasn't it? i didn't get it back then. 

i thought it was about time i thanked you for everything you taught me and all the encouragement you gave me.  see, ever since i can remember, my dad has always read the newspaper in the mornings.  and i can still remember the day he called me and, looking over his glasses, told me he had been reading the obituary.  "don't be sad, sweetheart".

i still think you shouldn't have left that window open.




  1. This was so sweet, and such a neat idea for a post! I enjoy reading your writing.

  2. Thank you so much, @Ashlyn. You're always so sweet!

  3. beautiful. i always think about a previous teacher too, and wish i could see her again to tell her how much i'm thankful for her guidance.

    xo flor

  4. Sorry for your loss Luisa, sounds like he was a wonderful man.

  5. This is so perfectly written. I was so had to hear what happened in the end, but happy to know how much somebody could mean so much to you! You are very lucky to have had a teacher that influenced you that much. I can't say I've had one that I felt meant this much to me, although I had one very wise lady teaching my Norwegian classes.

  6. Wow. This is a beautiful letter. I still remember writing to my 5th grade teacher thanking her for inspiring me to become a teacher. It wasn't as beautifully crafted as your letter, but I hope it inspired her.

    Happy seeing beautiful!

  7. Unique sensibility. I know how it feels. Improbable matches, friends that we cannot choose... Saudade. How I wish other languages could get this word.

  8. Beautiful, @Rafael Gonçalves. Thank you so much. "I surely miss this". As well as many other things that belong to the past.
    Do you remember this man? You actually interview him once. And you taped it for me... :)

    @Lydia @ See Beautiful, I'm sure she loved the letter! I used to be a teacher and there's this one thing that kept me motivated: knowing that teachers can actually make a difference in somebody else's lives. Thank you so much for the sweet words.

  9. Luisa! Are you on For The Love of Blogs -http://forblogs.blogspot.com? I was just wondering if you were, because I'd like to nominate you for blog of the month :) I hope you are well!


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