Dear Mrs. DaSilva,
I've thought about what I wanted to write in this letter to you for months now. I've tried to come up with the right words and the right feelings to explain to you just how much you have meant to us this year. How do you tell someone thank you for keeping your child alive all school year though? How do you explain to them that you treasured every single moment you had with them...getting to know them as not only your child's teacher...but as a friend? How do you tell them that you appreciate every little thing they did...every time they monitored the blood sugar checks and gave her snacks for lows and even just the simple fact that they took the time to learn and know what a low blood sugar is? How do you express this feeling of overwhelming gratitude and love and appreciation?
I don't know how. I don't know the right words to make you understand just how much you impacted our lives this year. I don't think there are words available to explain. I've thought about it and tried to come up with "delicious" words like you have taught the class about this year. It's impossible though.
You have not only spent the year teaching my daughter math, English, social studies, and the usual grade 3 lessons....but you have opened her eyes to the big world of possibilities out there. You talked about stories of children in other countries...far off places in the world...areas where girls aren't allowed to attend school. You opened her eyes to this. You made her think. You ignited that flame of curiosity in her mind and inspired her to learn. You took the time to nurture her socially, emotionally, and spiritually. You listened to her...really listened. You made her feel like not only did she have a voice...but it mattered. You made her feel like she was important. You eased her mind in moments of shyness and uncertainty. You gave her confidence. You made her feel safe. You showed her humour. You encouraged her to not only be herself...but to accept herself and love herself for being exactly who she is.
On top of all of this, you took the time to learn about her diabetes. You learned what it all meant and what had to be done. You knew that activity and exercise and emotions and illness and stress and changes in routine ALL could and usually did affect her blood sugars. You helped me start her on the path to independence with her disease by not hovering over her and instead giving her the knowledge and the ability to call me herself with problem blood sugars. You were my partner in pancreating her this year. You were on our team from the starting gates. You eased my mind and comforted me by knowing that you could handle it. I knew that when I dropped her off for school in the morning at 8:30, that you had it covered...you took the reigns from me and you took control...you were her pancreas for me until the bell rang at the end of the day. You returned her to me safely every single day this school year. There are no words available to express my gratitude.
You are an amazing human being. You don't know this, but I have referred to you as my angel this entire year....because it's true. You made my life easier and I can't thank you enough.
So, while my heart hurts knowing we won't have you in our daily life next school year....I do know that you will still be there. You will still watch out for her. You will still hug her when you see her on the playground or in the halls. You will be lighting up the minds of a whole new set of students...but you will still have a place in your heart for our kiddos this year. I know this. I know it because it's who you are. You are a truly kind hearted and caring woman and we were blessed to get to know you this year. You are a part of our diabetes team...our diabetes family...now. You lived it....you get it...you know.
Thank you, Mrs DaSilva. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being exactly who you are. Thank you for the incredible year. Thank you for the laughs. Thank you for the love. Thank you for being you and for being an amazing role model for my daughter. We will hold you in our hearts always and forever.