My Dearest Mrs. Payne,
I just wanted to tell you what an impact you had on my life. You were my favorite teacher, and the nicest woman I've ever met. I was fifteen and pregnant, and you hosted my baby shower in your English classroom. You gifted me with the first diapers my daughter ever wore. When I found out you and your husband owned that grocery store, we shopped there almost exclusively.
I don't know if you remember telling our class about your kitten in the basket of laundry, and crying, and telling our class clown Wesley if he laughed he was dead meat. You were the first adult I'd ever seen open up to a bunch of kids, and be honest about emotion. You encouraged every effort, and I cannot thank you enough.
You were and still are my hero. You were everything that meant "lady" to me. You made me a nicer person, and I am grateful to have been your student.
Laura (Dempsey) Cline
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