Thursday, June 21, 2007


M is for Mareta.

We two are the most unlikely people you'd find together, actually.

Mareta is the Year 1 teacher at Richmond Road. Every Thursday, it's her job I take while she has a day of release. Hers is the classroom I share. Hers is a friendship I value very much.

M is actually older than my mom, but she has the youth and vitality of a 30-year old. She is a vibrant Samoan, has two grown children, drives a 1973, grass green Mercedes, and is very intelligent.

When we spend time together we do heaps of things. She'll pick me up on Sunday and take me on tiki-tours of the city. We go out to eat, meet for drinks after school, and have coffee together two or sometimes three times a day.

I appreciate M's uniqueness. I think I first loved her when she told me the story about her marriage. She had Charlotte, her oldest, very young, and married Kris, Charlotte's father, a few years after. They've been together for more than 17 years now, but recently made an interesting change in their relationship. When things were getting a little hairy, they decided to move out and live separately, which they do now. It seems to work great, and they've never gotten along better. She's happier, the kids are happier, and everything is working out well with no intention of changing. Her telling me this story was one of those eye-opening moments (such as with David's moms) that made me realize that life has to be lived the way that works for you, and that sometimes the pre-subscribed norms don't always suit everyone.

But most importantly, M was my rock during a recent hard period. She was able to listen and give me advice about it, from a friend and from a somewhat motherly point of view. She even had some really great bits of advice that included Sunday School verses, and we had a crack-up about that. Funnily enough, she was in a similar situation that I was able to listen to and advise as well. We've learned a lot from each other.

I'll sure miss the kids at Richmond Road, but mostly, I'll miss the atmosphere that included Mareta and her beautiful smile. Her love of life is contagious, and anyone else who wanders into her path in the future will surely be as lucky as I was.

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