Mrs. Coats had this same background and training and had just moved to the area a few months earlier. He husband had been transferred, and she had to leave the specialized school in which she worked. When we first met her, I felt an instant connection. She took J under her wing and encouraged (and sometimes in the first year had to coerce) him to learn and utilize the strategies that would help him overcome his dyslexia. She was both honest and optimistic with me. She was loving, sincere and patient with J. The strides J has made these past few years are just incredible.
Now this is enough to make Mrs. Coats an amazing women. But really, there's so much more. You see, this woman gave us the gift of her faith as well. When she started working with J, she told us how she was praying for him - and for him to learn to read. Now I am a strong believer in the power of prayer. I take my Christian faith and walk very seriously. It embodies who I am and all that I do. For her to share this with J and me spoke volumes. How blessed were we to have her in our lives and to work with J these years...
But we received some heart-breaking news a little over a month ago. As a matter of fact, I got the phone call as Gabi was driving me to the Boston Airport after our Nantucket adventure: Mrs. Coats was moving back to North Carolina. Her husband's work contract was not renewed. Stunned silence. Intense worry. Both she and I were devastated.
J's last session was a few weeks later. As we were saying our goodbyes, J gave her a card in which he wrote, "Thank you for helping me learn to read". I handed her a gift and card from Mike and me. I couldn't even talk as the sobs were choking me.
We received a letter from Mrs. Coats last week. I want to share part of it with you.
"...I do believe that God placed me in your world
for a reason, and I am deeply grateful to our Lord
that you allowed me to help you. My desire is to
serve Him by guarding others from suffering the
debilitating effects that my brother suffered and is
still suffering from being unable to read. I did not
know what I would do to use my training when we
moved to A****, and God opened the door and
used you to show me."
J continues to get help from a specialist at school. He is doing very well and loves third grade. I attribute his success to many people. However, it is Mrs. Coats, our "Reading Angel" who is in our hearts, who was placed in our path for a reason, who shared her own special ministry and faith with us...