Each Life That Touches Ours For Good

Each life that touches ours for good

Reflects thine own great mercy, Lord;

Thou sendest blessings from above

Thru words and deeds of those who love

This Thanksgiving I invite you to step away from the kitchen, and take a few moments to reflect on some of the wonderful people who have touched your life.  It seems fitting for us to take a moment and give thanks for precious friends and family who have shown  kindness and generosity.  You know the ones who could make you feel better just by being there?  The people in your life who helped show you the way, or taught you something that made all the difference?  This could be a very, very long list.  I’ll go first.

Mrs. Angleton was my fifth-grade teacher.  Well into her sixties, she had a contagious love of books and learning.  More importantly, she taught us what it means to have integrity.   She made us believe that we were better than we were, and we wanted to succeed just so we wouldn’t let her down.

Enid Leidline taught me piano lessons.  She had a special patience for kids like me who weren’t very good.  She had numerous dogs, cats, birds, and a big salt water aquarium full of fish.  She never had children of her own, but cared for both her mother, and an elderly grandmother for many years.  Her house was full of wise gray-haired women, and animals, and music, and neighborhood children.  There was a goodness about her that I’ll never forget.

And here’s a thank you to my aunt Cindy, who is 10 years older than me.  When I was five, she was the cool teenager with hair to her waist, driving me to the pool, blaring Neil Diamond on the 8-track player in my mom’s car.  She pierced my ears that summer with a sewing needle.  I felt so grown-up!  When I was older,  she gave me advice about boys, and a purple leather jacket handed-down.  She was there for me when my parents split up, and then got back together again.  She’s always been like a big sister, believing in me.  I’ll love her forever.

Your turn!  Feel free to name names!


  1. Great idea, Rebecca!
    We actually had an activity like this at RS on Tuesday. They had a table with a bunch of thank you cards, envelopes, and a basket where you could leave any note for someone in the ward and they would deliver it.

    I’m grateful for three teachers. Good Queen Joan (British Lit HS teacher), Bro Brooks (seminary) and Matt Marostica (History of Civ at BYU). They all helped me find a little bit of myself that I hadn’t discovered yet.

    I’m grateful for my cousins, Michelle and Allina, for reminding me that even after 3 kids and 10 years of marriage, I can still feel young and beautiful.

    I’m grateful for Mark for supporting and loving me in all of my (mis)adventures. We make a pretty great team.

    I’m especially grateful for the sisterhood of Exponent. I love having such wonderful women to hold my hand on my spiritual journey.

  2. People who have touched my life for good…

    — teachers and professors who were kind to me. My 10th grade English teacher who wrote on one of my papers that she didn’t know what I wanted to do professionally, but that she hoped that it would be in writing or editing. That meant a lot to me. Likewise Claudia Bushman, who when I was in career angst a couple of years ago and considering going into something pragmatic like speech pathology, shook her head and said, “Caroline, you need to be reading, writing, and dealing with ideas.” Those were votes of confidence I needed.

    — My feminist Mormon friends who have modeled gracious and expansive modes of living and thinking.

    — My husband who has, with very little complaining, given me time and space to explore worlds of ideas I’ve been drawn to. Who has given up significant amounts of free time or work time to come home and watch kids, so that I can pursue classes and readings that, I’m quite confident, will never pay off financially.

    –my mom who given and given of her time and energy to help me out, starting when I was a kid and wanted her to sit next to me while I wrote my essays (a process that would take several hours), to now when she comes and helps me with my house and kids.

    There’s a lot more, but I’ll stop there. 🙂

  3. Thank you Rebecca. This is a song we found in the hymn book after my brother passed away. It brought a lot of comfort and it brings back so many memories to read it here tonight.

    Speaking of, I’m grateful for the hope that families can be together again, for my true love, my baby love, for bright friends, and strong women, for laughter and truth.

  4. This is wonderful Rebecca.

    I had a sixth grade teacher who bought each student a novel at the end of the year that she felt represented them. The book she gave to me was “The Witch of Blackbird Pond”. The main character was this spunky girl with lots of charisma who never quite fit in. She’s one of my favorite characters and it’s one of my favorite stories. I ended up teaching it to my 8th graders when I became an English teacher just like her.

    • What a gift to have a teacher who truly knew each of her students as unique individuals, and was able to convey that to your 8th grade self. Just lovely.

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