Welcome to Hopes & Dreams, an inspirational and fun-filled website dedicated to those planting the seed of hope and encouragement. Inside you’ll find fascinating articles about God’s awesome creations, imaginative games and creativity for all. A place to sow; a place to grow.

A Fire to Inspire

By Laurie Cervantez

Tucked away in the piney woods of East Texas is the tranquil city of Hallsville. It is there I hang my hat and dust off my boots—at least for the moment. It’s a huge change from the big city living of Dallas/Fort Worth where I have spent most my life.  Morning walks through the town’s cemetery have become my daily routine. It’s a peaceful place to get in a little exercise and prayer time without bothering a soul. One thing in particular has continued to catch my eye as I make my way around the grounds: the headstone of Mrs. Inez Hatley Hughes. 

It reads . . .

A Fire to Inspire

I can’t help but wonder about the woman she once was. I envision a frail, gray-haired lady in a white cardigan, pearls dangling from her earlobes, spectacles sitting on the end of her nose, her hands dusty with chalk, and her fingers aching with the onset of arthritis.

Most assuredly, she must have had her fair share of smart-alecky kids, homework excuses, and parent/teacher conferences. It’s quite possible she suffered from indigestion from years of school cafeteria Salisbury steak and Sloppy Joes. And although she wasn’t a P.E. teacher, she undoubtedly spent part of her day hurling detentions, intercepting notes, and dodging spitballs. I can only imagine she was ready to throw in the towel on more than one occasion, but for some reason she chose to hang in there.

Curious, I searched her name on the Web, hoping to learn more about this beloved educator. I was shocked to find multiple listings, as well as her picture. She bore no resemblance to the frail lady I’d imagined. Instead, her picture resonated with the countenance of a First Lady, exhibiting beauty, grace, intelligence, and respectability.  Funny how your imagination can run wild! Rummaging through the Internet, I discovered a scholarship and resource library dedicated to her name, as well as several honorable mentions in newspaper articles. She taught high school English for roughly forty years and spent her retirement years volunteering as the director of the Harrison County Historical Museum.  

What made this special lady so remarkable? Perhaps it was hours of tutoring children. Maybe it was her teaching method, having a very special gift for making the dull and boring intriguing. It could’ve even been something as simple as devotion to country or love of children. Whatever the case, the passion within her and the dedication to her cause sparked a desire to succeed in the minds of many. Although I never met her personally, the writing on that stone caused me to stop and take notice. I’m sure she’d be pleased to know she is still inspiring an occasional passerby. I, too, hope to leave a legacy—to my children, grandchildren, and to those carrying the torch in the generations to come.

Why do you suppose some people choose to make an impact while others choose to merely exist? 




Edited by Christian Editing Services

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