By: Kaylea Van Lare
Walking, biking, scootering or skateboarding. In company or alone. Exploring or bored. Sad or happy. These were all reasons to cross the road and knock on the door of Mrs. Dlobik’s house and it had always been that way. In fact, I can’t remember the first time I met her, how or where, when or why but I can remember the things she has taught me along the way.
I remember that no matter what, Ms. Dlobik never turned me away, or anyone really. Her side door was like an old saloon door, swinging both ways, allowing for people to come and go when need be. If I needed a snack from the long day of tag with all the neighbor kids, she would have one ready. If I needed help with homework, she would be ready to take on 3rd grade math. Whatever I needed, she was always willing to help.
I remember struggling to feel sympathy, it was as hard as finding my way out of the corn field by her house. For her, it was as easy as pulling the never ending bag of chewy circus peanuts out of her pantry. I really struggled to feel for others and to understand that not only I was going through hard times. No matter what Ms. Dlobik was going through, she was there to listen, help, and make me feel better, even if she didn’t feel great herself.
I remember growing up and being so excited to go to high school because I would be able to see Ms. Dlobik more. After breezing through freshman and sophomore year, I was finally at north campus. This is where Ms. Dlobik worked as a special ed teacher and helped run the coffee shop, which allows the students with disabilities to work and have more social interactions. I always looked up to her for the way she treated everyone like they mattered and that they were special in their own way. Being able to watch her show so much compassion and patience for everyone really helped me to do the same. The reason I love to help others is because of her, and the reason I want to be someone who helps people that need it is because of her.
I remember Ms. Dlobik would give me her full attention, even if she was going through a tough time herself. Everytime I walked into the coffee shop, I was greeted with a smile from her. She would never compare my struggles to her own, because she understood how big of a deal it was to not get invited to a 3rd grade birthday party.
I will remember a lot about Ms. Dlobik. I will remember the help she gave, I will remember all the care she had to share, I will remember the kindness she showed for everyone and most importantly, I will remember her understanding for others because that taught me more about life than anything else.
Ms. Dlobik, I know you may not remember me as well and we don’t see each other as much anymore, but I just wanted to thank you for the lessons you have taught me and all the memories I will hold in my heart forever.
Kaylea Van Lare