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A hope note

From a distance, on a cold, blustery December day, it looked like another drug transaction shaping up or maybe one of those teacher-student trysts.
The parking lot was empty but for one car. Not long after school let out, two figures, one adult and one youth, moved toward each other, having apparently planned a rendezvous.
The teacher opened her car, took out a coat and handed it to the student. The student tried it on, embraced the teacher, said something and walked away. The teacher got in her car and drove off.
Next day, the teacher e-mailed a friend, reflecting: ‘Yesterday was the best day I’ve had in so long. I have a student who I’ve seen walking home from school most days and never wearing a coat. So I asked her if she had one, but she made up an excuse about not having a locker to keep it in. I told her I had a coat I bought at the end of last winter but never wore it and it no longer fits and if she wanted it, she could meet me in the teachers’ parking lot after school. She did. She told me I was an awesome teacher and started crying. So did I, once I started driving away.’
Times are hard. While some of us are bemoaning portfolio shrinkage, others are cold or hungry or looking at a utility bill they can’t pay or grieving the absence of a loved one this holiday season for the first time.
For everyone thinking it’s the most wonderful time of the year, there’s someone else experiencing the hardest time of the year.
If we reach out and touch, it may be the best day we ‘ and they ‘ have had in a long time.