About a month ago, my favorite teacher from high school, Mrs. Lee, announced that she was retiring after 25 years of teaching. Mrs. Lee was my choir teacher in 2nd and 3rd grade and from my 6th grade year to the time I graduated. By the time I graduated, she was less like a teacher and more like a mom. She is "Mama Lee."

There's an old saying that says "It takes a village to raise a child" and my parents have always said that I have the best village.

I'm so thankful and blessed that Mama Lee is apart of my village. I can't put into words how thankful I am for her or everything she has done for me.

When I was a freshman in high school, I went through this phase where I couldn't sing by myself because of my stage fright. If I tried to sing by myself, I would instantly burst into tears. I don't know why. I would start laughing at myself while crying simultaneously. I would get frustrated because I wanted to sing by myself so badly and rather than telling me to stop and try again another time, Mama Lee would laugh with me, bring me a box of tissues and encourage me to try again. Mrs. Lee encouraged and pushed all of her students to be the absolute best that they could be because she knew that we were capable of more than we gave ourselves credit for.

Mama Lee,

Thank you.

Thank you for opening up your heart and loving every student that came into your classroom.

Thank you for always zipping dresses, buckling shoes, and tying ties.

Thank you for always being someone I can talk to when I just needed to talk to someone.

Thank you for always being a light and encouraging us to keep God at the center.

Thank you for always being honest.

Thank you for never letting us go a performance without telling us how proud you are of us.

Thank you for being our Mama.

Thank you for being you, there is no one else like you.

We love you more than we can say.

Thank you,

Your kids