Dear Friend G,
I just heard about your retirement. Congratulations on 43 years!!! That is remarkable. I learned so much more from you than just about our field of study. I truly learned so much about life. This came through all of the classes that I was able to take from you and also our many visits in your office. Thank you for your devotion to your students. From your positive attitude I know that you taught to have hope throughout life, and to let laughter and family be priorities also.
"Hope is not knowledge,but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promise to us. It is confidence that if we live according to God’s laws and the words of His prophets now, we will receive desired blessings in the future. It is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance." link here to Pres. Uchtdorf's talk
I have been thinking about hope recently and have read that the opposite of hope is despair. I know we have talked about this before. Maybe you don't remember, but I do.
"The adversary uses despair to bind hearts and minds in suffocating darkness. Despair drains from us all that is vibrant and joyful and leaves behind the empty remnants of what life was meant to be. Despair kills ambition, advances sickness, pollutes the soul, and deadens the heart. Despair can seem like a staircase that leads only and forever downward." link here to Pres. Uchtdorf's talk
I used to feel that way. The staircase going down forever. I will always remember your kind words and empathy to me at that time. Unfortunately, that was the last time that I got to speak to you in person. Since that time, my husband and I both graduated and in time we have had a daughter and are doing quite well with our life and feeling much hope. I have always wondered how many more years you would teach, and well now I know.
You have left quite a legacy and will be missed in the department. I can only imagine how many other young students that you inspired, as you have me.