Centralia Fireside Guard

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Story Time: Change a life

Posted on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 at 2:56 pm

By Lorry Myers

My youngest daughter actively maintains a running bucket list. Recorded in neat penmanship are the places Mariah vows to see before she is too old to see them. The Grand Canyon, Central Park, Chicago on a train. There are other items too, selfless things like, “Change a Life” and “Make a Difference”.

You can’t find that stuff on a map.

My daughter is an educator, something she always wanted to be. Mariah works with children who need her the most and it is her job to teach the teacher how to reach and teach those students. Mariah is an old soul who is able to hear a child who speaks with their behavior or through their diagnosis and then, she will speak for them. She is tenacious at her job, proud to be a resource for school teachers and an advocate for their students.

She can check off Making a Difference.

When there’s travel involved, it is hard to fund a bucket list on a teacher’s salary so Mariah has to pace herself. Finally, before summer’s end, she booked cheap airfare to California where she stayed with a dear friend. There, she rode the Trolley, visited Alcatraz and had a bonfire beside the ocean.

All of those were handwritten on her list.

Fisherman’s Wharf was the last item to be checked off her California trip list. Mariah imagined it to be a magical place where you would find sea lions and seafood and hopefully, Californians doing crazy stuff.

She was excited about seeing crazy stuff.

The chosen day was hot, and the walkways on Fisherman’s Wharf were overwhelmingly crowded with bikes and boards and babies. Mariah was people watching as she strolled along with the crowd, especially seeking out children that she would wink or smile at when she passed.

The teacher in her is never on vacation.

On the busy, noisy walkway Mariah noticed a couple coming her way with a stroller partially covered with a canopy to block the sun. Mariah blinked at the approaching stroller, and just like that the hair on her arms stood up despite the heat of the day. Something was wrong.

For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard