In a gentle way, you can shake the world. (Mahatma Gandhi)
The beautiful mother of the groom this spring, Teri Johnson, is pictured above next to her son, Chris at his recent wedding to a stunningly beautiful young woman named Lindsay. I met Teri a few years back. She was this kind, friendly soul working in the school office at St. Louis de Montfort at the time. Teri has the type of genuine smile that makes her instantly likeable.
It wasn’t long after that when I learned that her son, Kyle, was quite ill. We did a lot of praying for Teri and her entire family during that incredibly trying time. When she lost him to leukemia, the whole community mourned alongside her because we could see how much she loves her family. It’s an ache that never goes away, but God has rained grace down on this lovely human and she seems to soldier on with positivity all the same.
It was William Hazlitt who said, “A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.” That’s what the office felt like to me the entire time Teri was sitting at the front desk. She seemed to be able to see the humor in the everyday, and always she made my boys and (and me too) feel she was glad to see us, even when we were mostly just an unneeded hassle in her day.
In case you’re unaware, school secretaries are the GLUE. That is a fact! No school functions well who tries to forge ahead without a sunny and gracious person as the first face one sees upon entering. When Teri left her role at SLDM, there was NO ONE who was glad she was moving on. She built personal relationships, and was always a reassuring, gentle voice of positivity in the days of our young people. She seemed to instinctively understand that we don’t know someone’s interior struggles, so she used her giftedness in a kind way which to me always glorified the Lord.
Teri, I deeply regret not doing a better job of expressing to you how grateful I am for the time you spent at SLDM. You just always seemed to be someone who could look past the cracks and see others with a generous and patient heart. You treated us all with such care. I should have said thank you sooner. Instead, during this, your birthday week, I wanted to take a moment to say HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY! I hope you were able to enjoy your special day, because your life is certainly one worth celebrating!! We in the Thieme clan think you are simply terrific!