In Memory

Stephen Mirabella (who will always be Mr. Mirabella to me), you will be missed more than I think you could ever understand. In fifth grade, you changed my life. In fact, I am certain that if it weren't for you, I wouldn't be a creative writing major, I wouldn't be writing a book, and I wouldn't have made it through middle school alive. You are one of the few people I can say truly changed me in a real, tangible way, and for that I am grateful beyond belief.

You taught me more than English. Although I remember vividly your lectures on Richard Cory and The Lord of the Flies, there was always more to your classes. You taught me about life and the lessons we learn all throughout it. You were one of my biggest sources of comfort all those years, and one of the few people outside my family I felt comfortable talking to.

You told us in 6th grade that you were writing a book that would be dedicated to our class. I don't know if you ever did, but the first book I publish will be in your memory. It only seems right, even though you won't know.

You read the first short story I ever wrote, "The Party." I was 17 years old, and we were talking at my graduation party. Even with all my friends and family around, I ran out to the car to get a copy of the story. You were glowing after you read it, and you said, "You write that book." I kind of blushed, but you stopped smiling, looked me square in the eyes and said, "you write that book. You're going to change the world with your writing, and I'll be able to say that 'I knew you when...'"

Thank you, Mr. Mirabella, for everything you have done for me and everyone else who was fortunate enough to know you. I hope one day I can pass on what you taught me.


Epijunky said...

He is right.

And he'll know when you write it.

Write that book, girl.

Or I'll kick your butt.

Scott said...

I'm sorry. Now that makes me want to get in touch with my freshman comp teacher, who was awesome and made me a better writer.

Can you put "the Party" on here?

Sam's mom said...

A beautiful tribute to an amazing man. I know he appreciates your thoughts.

si said...

Meris, Thank you for such a wonderful tribute to Steve. You will never know how much he cared about you. I feel I have known you from the first day you entered his class. he did worry about you a little since you were so young but knew you would do OK because he thought you were so strong. I have no doubt that you will publish a book (I've read your writing). Thank you for sharing how you feel about him. The only reason that I can move forward is because he lived his life to make me happy and to give up would be an insult to his memory. I must confess however, I wish I could just go belly-up. Life without him seems without color, sound, feel, or smell.

I read the poem I arry your heart in my heart by EE Cummings at his burial and a poem that I had written for him for valentines day years ago. He would have liked that/

Live life well and be happy. Write that book, I'll be waiting to see the dedication (smile).

My best to you,
Sigrid Mirabella