Feature Writer Steven Famiglietti – My Times with Ms. Waterman: Part Three

Ms. Waterman knew that I liked clocks, so one Saturday, she made plans to bring me to a local clock museum. It was a rainy, warm Saturday when we visited the place. It was full of clocks and we even met the man who went around checking and maintaining each clock. He let me wind every clock that they had at the museum. Behind the building, they had a huge bell that you could swing. So, we got to swing it hard enough for everyone in the area to hear. We went on many trips together. Aside from the clock museum, Ms. Waterman took me to the circus and out to dinner for my birthday.

To show our gratitude to Ms Waterman, we would invite her to our home each year a few weeks before Christmas. We would exchange gifts with her and we would also share some homemade cookies that my mother baked. We continued this tradition for many years after I graduated from high school. I should mention that once I graduated from high school, Ms. Waterman could no longer work with me because she worked with students who were part of the state of Connecticut Services for the Blind, Children Services Division. After finishing high school, I became part of Services for the Blind, Adult Services Division and was assigned a vocational rehabilitation counselor.

Despite the fact that we no longer worked one-on-one together, Ms. Waterman attended my college graduation party and we continued our yearly holiday traditions, even when I became employed. Time has a funny way of getting away from us, though, and our traditional meetings dwindled. I learned that she unfortunately became ill several years ago and was unable to keep her driver’s license. I found it very ironic that someone who devoted her life to helping people with vision loss ended up losing her own driver’s license and independence. I don’t know the specifics of her illness, but it was quite sad when I heard about her condition.

A few years ago, I met another mutual friend of ours and I found out that she passed away in the fall of 2009. I wish I knew that she had died because I would have liked to attend her memorial service.

I do feel like I never really had the chance to thank her for everything she did for me. She inspired me in so many ways throughout my life. I wish she could see me now, doing the work I do and living the life that I live. I hope that somehow, she knows that all of her hard work paid off. Not just for me, but for the many visually impaired students that she helped throughout her career.

If you have an inspirational person in your life, be sure to let them know how much they have inspired and helped you. I’m sure they would love to hear from you, even if it has been many years since you have spoken.

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