The Importance of Having a Mentor

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
Mark Twain

Yesterday was a really hard day. It was my mentor’s memorial service. She passed away almost a month ago but yesterday was the public service for her friends and family. In a dusty windswept graveyard in eastern Colorado we honored a woman who had died much too young but had touched so many people with her warmth and joy and spirit. She had an unending support of higher education and how education can be life changing.

Mentor relationships seem to develop almost effortlessly; someone you admire or has had success in your field shows you how you too can do it. Our relationship started in a creative support group of women and grew into a deep friendship. My mentor told me weekly “you can do this” and when I faltered she reminded me how long I wanted this goal and how to break it up so I felt success at every turn. She sent me links for scholarships, books to read, encouraging words and quotes, met me for coffee when I needed to talk and most of all listened.

When she died she was going for her doctorate, her goal to help children with mental and physical disabilities. She loved to teach, to inspire, and to create art in any form be it a collage or a poem.

I wish I had one more day, one more conversation, one more hug, and one more minute to say “thank you”.

Thank you Cyndi, I am honored to have known you.

The Writing Nag

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