Those Who Make A Difference

“Each of us can look back upon someone who made a great difference in our lives, someone whose wisdom or simple acts of caring made an impression upon us. In all likelihood it was someone who sought no recognition for their deed other than the joy of knowing that, by their hand, another’s life had been made better.”
Stephen M. Wolf

We all have them.  Those saints who have touched our lives and made a difference in all that matters in our world.  People who make a difference without even trying.  People who live in the moment and embrace each instant as an opportunity to give a little bit of themselves.

I have many of these people in my life.  After almost 53 years of living I am happy to say that I have had a full life with many experiences and relationships with people who have made the difference.  God willing—I will continue to have these relationships.

Perhaps one of the most important people in my younger years (parents and other family members aside) was a local librarian.   Mrs. Irene Chandler was the librarian when I lived in North Fairfield, Ohio.  Mrs.  Chandler was an amazing woman and I know I use that word a lot but she was.  She was not in the best of health, walked with a cane if I remember correctly and had some trials to overcome but she was the perfect person for a young girl to buddy up with.  We moved to North Fairfield (current population 560) when I was going into 3rd grade and lived there through my 7th grade year.   I had a paper route (Yay for the Sandusky Register!) and the library was conveniently on my route.  I stopped in daily.  My love of reading was fueled by Mrs. Chandler and she saw to it that I had the best selection of books in the tiny 2 room library.  She loved me unconditionally.  She saw something in that skinny stringy haired little girl that was special.  Living in a small town and being the preacher’s daughter was not always easy but she saw to it that I felt good about myself and I found solace in the library.

My papers always got delivered but there was always the afternoon stop to see Mrs. Chandler and get a book or two.  She had a special drawer where she kept snacks.  Many times she would insist that I take the rest of the bag of pretzels home or they “would go bad”.   She spoiled me.   But more than spoiling me she showed me love in a way that was real.  She was an insatiable reader also and I still remember her telling me what books she loved the most.  To this day I still call them “hysterical novels” because of her.

Oh how I hope I am able to say that I had a lasting impression upon someone like Mrs. Chandler had upon me.  She showed total acceptance and love and compassion for a little girl who did not always feel so great about herself.  She showed love with not only her words but with her actions.  When we moved from there I mourned the loss of my daily visits with her.  Her daughter brought her to our wedding years and years later and I was thrilled to have her be there for our special day.

I know that I have been blessed way more than I deserve to be in this life.  I cling to those relationships with those who made a difference and I am grateful for each and every one.  Today I think about Mrs. Chandler and hope that she knew just what a special person she was in my life.

No picture of Mrs. Chandler but take at look at this one of me in the library at North Fairfield!!!  :-)

No picture of Mrs. Chandler but take at look at this one of me in the library at North Fairfield!!! 🙂



  1. This is a lovely post and something I’ve thought about (written about) often. In the struggle to find meaning in life, maybe the search lies in the example of those people like Mrs Chandler, who touch us and change us and make the world a better place simply because they exist.

    • Lisa, Yep—I think you nailed it on the head there! I think examples like Mrs. Chandler are what really stick with us—people that are unassuming but who love us unconditionally and meet us right where we are at when and how we need them the most. One of the things that I love most about moving to new places in my life is that I have had the opportunity to meet some really wonderful people that I never would have met if I hadn’t moved. There is a whole big world out there with amazing people to meet—like you! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      • I still have this fantasy of having a bloggy gathering to meet some more of the bloggers around. Meanwhile I’ll just have to do it one at a time while I travel my bizarre path in life. 🙂

        • I love that idea!!! I have met only 2 of my bloggy friends in real life but also have that dream of meeting tons of them!!!

          • So far I’ve met four, and am related to one. One I met before I read her blog. Three I met intentionally. I was supposed to meet one more, but the timing got messed up. I’m hoping to meet at least one more e this summer.

  2. Really, a nice librarian. She didn’t tell you to be quiet all the time? Not that I would be loud in a library.

    • I know! It is NOT the usual grumpy librarian stereotype, is it?? She was wonderful and really made a huge difference in my life . She never shusshed me!!!

  3. Ahhhhhh, those were the days!! There were those folks in my, almost, 67 yrs., also. So many different “ingredients” go in to making us who we are today!!!! Blessings, Doreen

    • So true, Doreen! There are so many folks that make up the fabric of our lives, aren’t there?? It is a wonderful thing to reflect on all of them and what part they played in our lives. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. This is a great post. I love the quote, too.

    • That quote is what started the whole post as you can imagine. There are so many folks in my life that fit into that category as I am sure there are in your life also. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. What a precious mentor, what a precious photo. I love that Mrs. Chandler (lovely literary name) also attended your wedding. What a blessing she was to you, as you are to those of us who know you.

  6. Virginia says:

    I love this! And I am sure that you have been that person for many. You have been that person for me at different times in my life – like meeting you and Chris at Conway UMC and finding out that we were neighbors. That meeting turned into a lifelong friendship – you have encouraged me and loved me through countless times with cards, food, love and just being there for me. Remember when Micah and then Mitchell were born? Of course you do – you became forever a part of my heart then.
    Mrs. Chandler sounds like such a lovely, wise woman – what a great role model!

    • Ah Virginia—that made my morning! I only hope that those that I have come in contact with during my life know how important they are to me. You included!!! Mrs. Chandler saw something in me that needed nurturing and provided it time and time again. That is what I hope I can model every day. Love you!

  7. I think the best part of being a librarian would be befriending the children who come in to the library and helping them find great books they would like to read. That’s a cute picture of you there in the library.

  8. What a wonderful story to read. It makes me happy for the little girl that loved to read. In a way I feel you are a person who loves to do for other without seeking recognition. I feel so inspired by you – to be a better person and to find a way to give back to those around me. Even though I don’t know you in real life (yet) I feel you are a good influence!!! 🙂

    • Oh we are definitely going to meet in real life one day! I know it!!! And you are an inspiration to me also! You are such a wonderful mom and your excitement over being an American citizen is something that touches my heart. If only we all had that enthusiasm and joy!

  9. You are a true storyteller and you do so, seemingly without effort. Thanks for the trip down your… “Memory Lane”..

  10. What a sweet post, Beth Ann. My daughter was blessed to have a special teacher during those rough middle school years. I know how much that means to you to have Mrs. Chandler.

  11. I had a Sundy School teacher, my best friend’s Mother, who always so good to me and made me feel at home and was almost like a second Mother. I had gone away to college, my parents had moved away but when I got married she had a shower for me so I could see all of my old friends I had not seen for a long time.

  12. What a wonderful post! These people are like gold in our lives. For me it was my grade three teacher ,Miss Roll. I blogged about her too.

  13. I don’t think you need to worry about leaving a lasting impression on someone. You have already left a lasting impression on me with your simple generosity & faith.

    • Aw…thanks!!! That means a lot to me! I have a lot of wonderful bloggers that I follow and you, my friend, are one of them!!! Thanks again for being such a faithful follower!

  14. Great post Beth Ann. I had one of those people. For me it was a teacher.

  15. What a sweet picture and a great quote. There needs to be more Mrs.Chandler in the world, handing out books and snacks. The internet is a wonderful tool, but will never offer the kind of gifts Mrs. Chandler was able to give.

  16. Jerry Bushnell says:

    Hello. I just picked this category in honor of Nate and Rachael because they make a difference. I worked along side them on their first Habitat trip to El Salvador and totally enjoyed the friendship that developed with them over the week.

    • Jerry!! Thanks so much for stopping by and supporting Nate and Rachael with your comment!!!! I am very excited to be a small part of their adventure!!!!! Come back anytime!!!! You are always welcome here!

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