Have you ever had someone tell you a story that stops you in your tracks? That's what happened when my mom told me about a chance encounter with a woman who would reunite her with someone who had impacted her life deeply.
Jody Smith and Kaye Gooldy first met a few years ago on a plane ride from Colorado to Tulsa. The two former teachers got to talking.
"Somehow, we got on to 'Does your mother teach too?' and I said yes she does or she did and she said where did she teach? She also asked me her last name," said Jody.
"And then she said my mother was Betty Hobson. Click. I've wondered about Betty for years and years and years," said Kaye.
Betty Hobson was Jody's mom, and Kaye's second-grade teacher at Wilson Elementary in Okmulgee.
"She was one of my good workers, I do remember that," said Betty
In 1949, Betty Hobson was a fairly new teacher. Kaye remembers how much she loved her.
"You know there's something about having a young, young teacher who is able to go and do and we'd have our little parties and our little get-togethers that was as enthusiastic as the children," said Kaye.
After all these years, Kaye and her other classmates have visited their former teacher, reminiscing about those early days.
"The interesting thing is she has several students who come by and see her. I think it's a connection to the past and it just shows how much her students loved her. I think she feels that love," said Jody.
"I've been one of those fortunate people. I've passed through many doors, but I've gotten something from each door. And I think it's a culmination of a lot of experience and a lot of love," said Betty.
And to think, this reconnection to the past all came about as two strangers began a conversation on a plane ride.
"I don't believe in coincidences… I believe these are a God thing. I think she and I sat together for a purpose," said Kaye.
April 5th is Ms. Betty's 94th birthday and we would like to wish her a very happy birthday and say thank you for pouring into so many students.