Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Direct from the heart

My high school drama director passed away today.  He was a Catholic priest teaching in a public school - irreverent enough to be cool, but stern enough to be respected by a theater full of unruly, hormonal teenagers. I probably haven't seen him in twenty years, but I still feel his influence in my life every day.

He taught me how to challenge myself and how to take risks.

He taught me the value of making difficult choices with integrity and the importance of doing the right thing instead of the popular thing.

He taught me how to work hard, how to persevere, and how to celebrate my accomplishments.

He taught me how to fail.

He taught me how to rely on other people and how to be a person on whom others could rely.

He taught me that it's possible to be both critical and kind - and that, in fact, it's often impossible to be the latter without also being the former.

He helped me to see that all the world really IS a stage, and he taught me to stand proudly in the spotlight, graciously in the shadows, and patiently in the wings.

I would not be successful in the job that I have, I would not approach parenting the way that I do, I would not be the person whom I have become, if it were not for him.

Rest in peace, Father. The world is a better place because of the hundreds of young lives you changed.

Thank you for making my life one of them.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely perfectly said. We will all miss him.

Alysia said...

I'm sorry for your loss. He sounds like an amazing person.

Cheryl said...

Wonderful to have someone in your life who touched you so deeply. Here's hoping the appreciation trumps the sadness. Godspeed Father.

drama mama said...

I miss him, and I don't know him. But I know him.

Father, I know what it was like, seeing those faces every day. You were blessed.

Jaxmom said...

What a sweet and heartfelt tribute to a man who obviously made a difference in your life and that of others. May he rest in peace.

Robin said...

I didn't know that he had passed away. He was a great guy and I remember him fondly.

David said...

Mary YOU are amazing. What a profound tribute to Father Toste. May he rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and of the Father's family, lovely tribute x

Royal Ranch said...

Beautiful, I wish I HAD known him.

Kerri said...

Sounds like an amazingly wonderful person and teacher. I was blessed to have known many teachers like this as well and I hope my children do too.
May he rest in peace.

robin said...

My husband passed along this post to me. Beautifully written!

Stimey said...

I'm so sorry.

JAC22682 said...

Sorry for your loss. May it be an extraordinary tribute to him that you continue to inspire these things in others every day.