I Will Make You Proud, Dwight
9 January 2014
Driving to school shortly before Christmas in 2009, my phone rang. (Back then, it was not against the law to answer and chat.)
The Caller ID showed “Dwight-y Hooker.”
Since I have to be at school at 7:00 am, it was early for him to call.
“Have you heard that woman who sang ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ on Britain’s Got Talent?” Dwight asked.
“Well,” he continued, “she’s not terribly attractive, but she can sing. You must get the album.”
“Who is she?”
That evening, I downloaded the album and put the song, “I Will Make You Proud” on repeat.
All of my life I have watched you
Climbing mountains, chasing dreams
All of my life you gave me everything
But you don’t have to give the world to me.
From hiking to Stewart Falls to becoming an architect, I watched Dwight chase his dreams. He gave me everything from an Art Deco Butterfly broach to a wedding ring.
Just say you love me as I am
Say you want me as I am,
Say I’m someone in your eyes,
That’s all I want it to be
Oh, jut let me go, I know one day if I’m allowed,
If I’m allowed, one day I’ll make you proud.
I was surprised that Dwight loved me. I was surprised that Dwight wanted me. I was just a girl from Utah. But, in his eyes, I became someone.
All of your life you’ve taken chances
You’ve broke the rules time after time
All of your life you’ve gone your own way
So give me this chance, and I’ll go mine.
Dwight took chances. He called it, “stepping off into the abyss.” All of his life, he took chances. He chose to become a photographer and then, BOOM! Dwight decided to do something “real” and become an architect in Utah.
On his way, he brought me along. Now, I have to go my own way.
Someday I’ll make you proud.
Dwight, I will make you proud.
At Dwight’s memorial in Detroit, his daughter, Cindy, also a teacher, reminded me that Dwight loved to hear the students scream “Mrs. Hooker” from the bus.
Just before Dwight fell, my girlfriends and I went to Fall into Fashion on Main Street in Park City on Friday night. Walking up toward OC Tanner, a twenty-something young man called, “Mrs. Hooker.”
He asked, “Do you remember me?”
“Of course,” I replied.
It was Jonathan from my fourth grade class.
“You are my favorite teacher. You brought me out of my shell. You laughed at my jokes.”
He had three friends with him.
They chimed in, “Seriously. He talks about you.”
My girlfriends, my teacher friends, beamed.
I called Dwight as soon as I got home.
I hope I make him proud.