Mrs. Evelyn Lundy
In Grade 12 we were lucky to have Mrs. Lundy for our three English classes. By the end of the first month I had become an avid poetry reader. Mrs. Lundy lent me a book of hers with her favourite poems and I read it cover to cover. I even told Mom and Sandy the name of it so maybe I might get it for my birthday or Christmas and sure enough, the following Christmas, it was under the tree and now resides in my bookcase.
I started writing poetry around that time. Small, short pieces of current events or things that I had an interest in. Mrs. Lundy asked me if I was writing poetry and I said yes. She wanted to read them so one day I brought my book to school and let her read them. She did her usual critique and I took her advice and made the changes she suggested. Already I could see the difference. I learned quickly that one word often conveyed the message rather than two or three and I began to write more often.
After graduation and upon finishing Grade 13, I had quite a collection of poems. I had an old typewriter and typed them all out. One day I was downtown and ran into Mrs. Lundy. The first thing she asked was “Are you still writing?” I answered yes and she said that would I come for tea and bring my poems for her to read over? Wow…I was over the moon that our very best teacher wanted to read my poems.
We made plans for me to come out on Saturday and for the rest of the week, I poured over all my poems checking to see where I could improve on them. Saturday took forever to arrive but finally it did.
We had a nice visit and tea and sandwiches and Mrs. Lundy asked if she could keep my book so she could read at her leisure. I went away on a little cloud and waited anxiously to hear from her.
About a week later, her husband George came into the Credit Union with my book. I was so disappointed until he told me that Mrs. Lundy was very sick and she wanted me to have my book back. He said to look in the front page…there was a letter for me.
I thanked him and practically ran to the desk and sat down and opened the binder and there in her own handwriting was the letter. When I finished reading it, I was in seventh heaven…what a wonderful, beautiful letter about my poetry. She talked about how well developed my ideas were and how sensitive some of my subject matter was. She went on about certain poems that she really liked. Her last paragraph brought tears to my eyes because of what she said:
“My dear Brenda, your work shows a great deal of professionalism. You have a wonderful collection of poems and if you are really serious about writing, I believe one day that I will own a collection of your poems in MY bookcase. I think too that it is time for you to branch out and start writing short stories. You have a wonderful way with words…Good luck in your future endeavours. I know that you will be successful.” Sincerely, Evelyn (Lundy.)
Well, I have kept writing. I have written more stories than poems and I have tried to keep my work faithful to the truth. I will never forget the one teacher in high school who was instrumental in giving me goals that I never thought I could have. Mrs. Evelyn Lundy gave so many of us the courage to step out of ourselves and become better than we could ever have imagined. I would visit with Mrs. Lundy from time to time and let her look over my work. I had written some family stories by this time and she said again how my work reflected a very sentimental and sometimes very funny look at my family.
Keep working….you will be a successful published author!
Thank you, Mrs. Lundy. I will never forget you.