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As bloggers and writers, we understand the power of words. It is serendipitous that I am writing this post on NCTE's National Day of Writing when many are thinking about the power of words.
We know that words heal and words hurt.
They make us laugh and make us cry.
They move us forward yet keep us marking time.
They can hold us hostage, and they can set us free.
Last week I was going through some old emails and came across one that was sent to me two years ago by a former colleague. I thought about deleting it then and have considered deleting it many times since. But for some reason, I haven't.
When I received the email two years ago, I was confused because these words were not typical of the person who sent them. I respected her as a colleague and as my own children's teacher, so I did not understand and wanted some answers.
The next day I walked down to her classroom.
I left in tears.
The words hurt.
I wanted to believe she didn't really mean the words she said to me that day. She was going through a rough time professionally. Sadly, she was hurting as many veteran teachers do in their last years of teaching. I seemed to inadvertently be the cause of the pain, as many new teachers are.
I wanted to believe those words were coming from the pain inside, not from her heart. But the year ended, she retired, and I moved schools. Our words became silent.
Ironically, I ran into her last week. The silence was broken, and we both said words I wished we would have said a long time ago.
I came home and deleted the email. The one I should have deleted a long time ago.