Memories of mentors often get lost in the shuffle. Almost all of us have had someone who played a special role in our lives, but because they don’t fall neatly into our “family” history, we neglect to preserve their memories.
Sometimes mentors just smoothed the road of our life path a little. Other times, they made all the difference in which path we choose. Whatever the scope of their role in our lives, these memories of mentors in our lives matter. (Translation: Write about them!)
Memories of Mentors Giving Emotional Support
After my parents’ deaths, my friend Prill developed a special bond with my older son. A year later, kindergarten “Grandparents Day” was salt into his wound of grief. It brought home the fact that most the other kids had something he didn’t. To fill the void, Prill, a school board member, went along as a “special friend.”
Of course, he still cried that day. He wondered again how to get his grandparents down from Heaven, if only for just the one day. However, Prill’s presence buoyed his spirits, especially when the teacher singled his “important special friend” out to the class and grandparents.
Did you have someone in your life that gave you extra emotional support during tough times? When and why were they important to you?
Mentors as Ersatz Family
Some mentors play the role that a parent couldn’t or didn’t. As Arizona’s Heart for the City points out, this type of mentoring can even involve reaching out to an entire family.
Did you have a coach or teacher than went far beyond the realm of the classroom or sports field? What role did they play in your life? How long did your relationship with them last? When you look back at that relationship, how do you feel about it?
Regardless of our backgrounds, many of us run into academic or career mentors. You can pay these mentors a little respect by giving them written homage. For instance, in her article, Communication Strategies — Treasuring Memories of Mentors, Rhoda Weiss lists her mentors by name, explaining their role as she started her career.
Particularly though, if one person stood out as a role model and mentor, make sure you write about how they shaped your later career and life choices. (Another good example: Jim Coughenour’s article about Phoenix Sun’s coach’s Jeff Hornacek’s memories of the mentors that influenced how he coaches today.)
Other Memories of Mentors
Who else made a difference in your life? How did you meet them? What difference did they make?