This story will make you cry (kinda long)

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He was in the first third grade class I taught at Saint Mary's School in Morris, Minnesota. All 34 of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund was one in a million. [He was] very neat in appearance but had that happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even his occasional mischieviousness delightful.
Mark talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that talking without permission was not acceptable. What impressed me so much, though, was his sincere response every time I had to correct him for misbehaving: "Thank you for correcting me, Sister!" I didn't know what to make of it at first, but before long I became accustomed to hearing it many times a day.

One morning my patience was growing thin when Mark talked once too often, and then I made a novice teacher's mistake. I looked at him and said, "If you say one more word, I am going to tape your mouth shut!"
It wasn't ten seconds later when Chuck blurted out, "Mark is talking again." I hadn't asked any of the students to help me watch Mark, but since I had stated the punishment in front of the class, I had to act on it.
I remember the scene as if it had occurred this morning. I walked to my desk, very deliberately opened my drawer and took out a roll of masking tape. Without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark's desk, tore off two pieces of tape and made a big X with them over his mouth. I then returned to the front of the room. As I glanced at Mark to see how he was doing, he winked at me. That did it! I started laughing. The class cheered as I walked back to Mark's desk, removed the tape and shrugged my shoulders. His first words were, "Thank you for correcting me, Sister."
At the end of the year I was asked to teach junior high math. The years flew by, and before I knew it Mark was in my classroom again. He was more handsome than ever and just as polite. Since he had to listen carefully to my instructions in the "new math," he did not talk as much in ninth grade as he had in the third.
One Friday, things just didn't feel right. We had worked hard on a new concept all week, and I sensed that the students were frowning, frustrated with themselves - and edgy with one another. I had to stop this crankiness before it got out of hand. So I asked them to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then I told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish the assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed me the papers. Charlie smiled. Mark said, "Thank you for teaching me, Sister. Have a good weekend."
That Saturday, I wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and I listed what everyone else had said about that individual. On Monday I gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. "Really?" I heard whispered. "I never knew that meant anything to anyone!" "I didn't know others liked me so much!" No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. I never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another again.
That group of students moved on. Several years later, after I returned from vacation, my parents met me at the airport. As we were driving home, Mother asked me the usual questions about the trip - the weather, my experiences in general. There was a light lull in the conversation. Mother gave Dad a sideways glance and simply said, "Dad?" My father cleared his throat as he usually did before something important. "The Eklunds called last night," he began. "Really?" I said. "I haven't heard from them in years. I wonder how Mark is."
Dad responded quietly. "Mark was killed in Vietnam," he said. "The funeral is tomorrow, and his parents would like it if you could attend." To this day I can still point to the exact spot on I-494 where Dad told me about Mark.
I had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. Mark looked so handsome, so mature. All I could think at that moment was, Mark, I would give all the masking tape in the world if only you would talk to me. The church was packed with Mark's friends. Chuck's sister sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Why did it have to rain on the day of the funeral? It was difficult enough at the graveside. The pastor said the usual prayers, and the bugler played taps. One by one those who loved Mark took a last walk by the coffin and sprinkled it with holy water.
I was the last one to bless the coffin. As I stood there, one of the soldiers who had acted as pallbearer came up to me. "Were you Mark's math teacher?" he asked. I nodded as I continued to stare at the coffin. "Mark talked about you a lot," he said.
After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates headed to Chuck's farmhouse for lunch. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously waiting for me. "We want to show you something," his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. "They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it."
Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. I knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which I had listed all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him. "Thank you so much for doing that," Mark's mother said. "As you can see, Mark treasured it."
Mark's classmates started to gather around us. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my desk at home." Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put this in our wedding album." "I have mine too," Marilyn said. "It's in my diary." Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. "I carry this with me at all times," Vicki said, without batting an eyelash. "I think we all saved our lists."
That's when I finally sat down and cried. I cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.
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587 comments:

  1. lol first, and i didnt read

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  2. Sad, but they will all see each other again, someday...

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  3. was i ment to cry cause i didnt

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  4. 1 coment i dont cry

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  5. didnt cry but its sad

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  6. you guys are dicks, you know that? You also can't count.

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  7. that wasn't even sad. rather amusing.

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  8. I didn't cry but that is sad.

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  9. nope it didnt make me cry not one bit

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  10. iread and didnt cry its sad but not too sad

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  11. fuck u im not gonna read that whole shit man

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  12. I got so close to crying SO CLOSE My eyes started to water but thats it

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  13. Sad, didn't cry though.

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  14. That is so sweet...

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  15. you guys are sad......i mean really now

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  16. that was the dumbist thing ever in my life that was more comedy than there were sadness

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  17. Didn't make me sad at all

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  18. wow that is a really touching story if it is true

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  19. 4th. I loved the story. Didn't cry but was really sad :'(

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  20. Aw. :) But I didn't cry...it's happy...

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  21. i was gonna cry but i expected to like see wat the ppl had said on the list or something.. meh :/

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  22. didnt make me cry??..

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  23. I kno i feel bad cuz i didnt cry

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  24. that is so sad!!!!! :'(

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  25. it was sad but i didnt cry

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  26. i didn't cry, but thats really sad.):.

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  27. Third~ This was sad It didn't make me cry though.

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  28. i didnt cry but i did get shivers thou

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  29. long Story ...

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  30. Awe:( i didnt cry tho

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  31. This isn't sad. O.o

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  32. sad, but not worth crying

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  33. That was sad , but i didnt cry!! AND UR A FUCKING DICK DUMBASS!!!!

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  34. thats sweet but i didnt cry

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  35. are u people crazy?!
    writing this story and wasting our time god-.-
    just make a movie

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  36. very touching as my dad died in vietnam :'(, so yes, i did shed a tear

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  37. thats sad...he seems like a good person

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  38. OH MY GOD!!! people are saying "First" "Didnt read FIRST" THIS STORY IS FREAKING SAD!!! YOU PEOPLE HAVE NO HEART

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  39. WOW u guys are messed,u should have read that. Its so touching and loveing,its the best thing i have ever read. This means alot and i hope Mark rest in peace.

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  40. We did it at my school and I still have mine :D

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  41. yea i didnt cry either..sad, but it didnt touch me enough to produce tears,

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  42. that was sadd....i didnt cry though...

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  43. i couldnt understand what was really going on. But everyone dies u just gotta live with it. Didnt cry.

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  44. awwwwww, i didn't cry though, also to the people that are saying first; STFU no one cares !

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  45. did not cry but sad

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  46. awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww): thats so sweet... and sad

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  47. That is sad, but I didn't cry

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  48. it was sad, but i didnt cry

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  49. About the comment number 9, Very good English, NOT! Besides that you can't even understand that then they wrote "first" or "second" the real #1 and #2 comments hadn't even come up on the site... As you may see their comments came up at the exactly very same minute, that made them think that they were first!

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  50. heartless bastards

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  51. People who thought this was amusing... you are bantha fodder. You have no heart and you wouldn't know something heart warming if it danced naked in front of you wearing a tea cozy on its head.

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  52. i didn't cry, but it was touching.

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  53. i didnt cry :/

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  54. that wasnt sad to me...

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  55. that was weird i thot it was gonna like end up she was his siter or he had a disease or something but i just dont really get how its so sad its kinda sad but ppl die its a lil thing i call LIFE.

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  56. I didn't cry and i'm a guy. But it's really sad... I wish I was one of Mark's classmates.

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  57. It is sad :( But not really worthy of crying over.

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  58. it was touching, but i didnt cry...

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  59. i didnt cry, but i almost fell asleep...

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  60. Thats Sad. But... I Wouldnt Cry About It. It Touched Me But... Not That Much. (:

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  61. Awww, that was sweet. But I didn't cry... :)

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  62. it was sad but i dont get how you would cry if you were in the class and read it you might

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  63. tears came flooding down nd yeah it is true it is very very sad i amstill crying lol xxxx

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  64. fuck u and fuck mark

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  65. sad, but i didnt cry a single tear....

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  66. it was sad, but i didnt cry. it was more.. a 'happy' story, i guess..

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  67. That is so sad I wish more teachers would have kids make the lists though :i

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  68. I seemed to love this story, it was sad and i did in fact cry. But i found it that some people would rather comment "first" on such a sad story rather than commenting what you had thought of the story...

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  69. that was really sad, but i didn't cry, mostly because i don't cry much anymore.

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  70. BTW anonymous, wtf is a tea copzy, and why the fuck wuuld it dance naked in front of me....sooooome bodys stupid XD

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  71. am i supposed to cry??

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  72. is sad but really not worthy to cry for

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  73. i ddnt even feel sad -.-

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  74. you know, thats the kind of thing that everyone should do... in work, at school, anywhere there is a lot of people working together... i remeber in band class, we would do the same thing and i kept it forever i still have it!

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  75. i hav a heart of steel, and the only thing that can break it is my friend ali, and she already has

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  76. Did you really expect a cry? it was barely sad..

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  77. Yeah, i did not cry at all, it really didn't make me sad, I wuz just like wtf they kept their schoolwork? if anything i would want to get rid of it.

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  78. this was very sweet and touching.. but more happy than tear worthy.

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  79. it was sad but i didnt cry

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  80. it was sad but i didnt cry

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  81. it made me happy about life

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  82. I'm a sadist i enjoyed every minute of it :)

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  83. Sad but i didnt cry

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  84. very sad, but i didnt cry

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  85. That was sad and touching,

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  86. I uhh, kinda wanted to know what the ef was on Mark's list that he held so dear. Goodness, suspenseful for no reason.

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  87. the teachers at my school read us this on a bullying day and my homeroom teacher started crying.
    they passed around papers to everyone and wrote down everything nice, and i still have that paper.

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  88. omg ok so some of you are just stupid dicks that have no heart and that dont care for anyone but your self ! im happy to say that i DID cry ! it was sad yet really sweet , but some of you are just plane out wrong !

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  89. this story was really sad.....until i tooted

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  90. The story was sad but I did not cry

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  91. two words, BOR ING, seriously, i havnever read a bigger piece of shit in my life.





    Except maybe TWILIGHT

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  92. nope i didn't cry o-o;

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  93. i dont really think ANYONE cried over it

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  94. Aww, Nice. But I didn't cry. :'(

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  95. I didnt cry but it was veryy sad:/

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  96. pretty touching I have to say

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  97. THAT IS SO SAD!!!!!! How can you people NOT cry? Both my grandparents were in Nam. One is SCARED FOR LIFE! He still has horrifying nightmares of it of him almost getting blown up! And yeah, I cried.

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  98. Why was it so important to comment first? It just proves you don't have a life. This is sad, but not crying over. Just remember though, say what you need to say. Or you may never be able to say it.

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  99. this wasn't even sad.. well thats because ima emoooo

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  100. Haha i do av a heart but this story is not sad at all jst saying!!

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  101. wow if you've ever lost a friend...you would think this is sad.. I cried.:'/

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  102. wow!!! really !! that was a touching story ! and all some people cared about was being first to comment !!!!! that was so touching. not enough to make me cry... but still touching :) i loved it:)

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  103. Not really that sad.

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  104. good god. who gives a flying fuck if you were first or second. or 500,336,985,369,215,236th?uh no one. so all you assholes who didn't even read the story cause they wanted to be first to comment on it can go fuck themselves.

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  105. whats wrong with you guys? you dont think this is at all sad? that boy fought and died in viatnam. someone like that doesnt deserve to die. nobody deserves to die like that.

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  106. not enogh to make me cry

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  107. who ever up there said it was amusing go fuck yourself i didnt cry but this was very sad show some respect

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  108. it was sad:( but didnt make me cry :)

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  109. This is very, very fictional. The fact that I couldn't believe what I was reading took away the "sad" from this rather amusing but obviously fictional story.

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  110. I was reading all the comments, thinking anonymous was the same person :/ but the story isn't that sad tbh.

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  111. I didn't shed a tear, but the kindness of this story really spoke to me :)

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  112. ok, u jerks who keep saying u farted are NOT funny im pretty sure nobody cares if u farted and those people who say this story isnt sad u know that it really is it may not make people cry but it is very sad and u people really need to have more respect cuz this is a really good story maybe if u took the time to actually read this and not take the time to be the first to comment then maybe u would see that this is a great story.....just saying

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  113. every body who is saying that this is a very long story this i nothing ive read stories 5 time longer well not 5 about 3

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  114. i thought it was sad....i didnt cry but people who r saying stupid things on here r complete jerks

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  115. HAHAHAHHAHAAA! This sucks i didn't cry!

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  116. i didnot cry but is sad. :(

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  117. ur cold hearted if you didnt find that sad

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  118. i dont wanna read all of that!!! no time! im not sad even a bit!

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  119. this was the most boringest thing ever

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  120. real sad but did not cry

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  121. no brian martin, you dipshit, they will not, retarded piece of shit!

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  122. Too long! Did not read!....HUMMPH!

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  123. in what way, shape, or form is this comedy. you twisted little cunt. i bet you kill small animals and shit too right? fuckin freak.

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  124. I didn't cry but it was sad tho :'(

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  125. you dirty peadophile fucking little kids on a school desck

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  126. really sad story but i didn't cried after reading this..!!

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  127. That was soo saadd reaally it was it felt like i was about to cry :'(

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  128. you sick cunt you shouldnt write somthing like this thats mean this is sooooooo sad :'(

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  129. i have already heard this. it was read to us in primary when a kid committed suicide. i bawled my eyes out becuase i knew the kid. we were best mates and we wrote each other letters. i still have them tucked away in a keep safe box...

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  130. u guys r fucking dicks, i know its a story thats not able to get u to cry but the teacher really thinks that the kids she taught actually appreciates wt she did and is happy for it, its a good story

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  131. haha i didnt cry :P

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  132. @July 8, 2010 4:34 PM
    hi5! omg tears just came flooding down =/....i cry very easily when it comes to stuff like these >_<

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  133. i didn't cry...
    is it real?

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  134. It wasn't THAT sad though I've seen better

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  135. didn't cry but teared up a bit really sad yet touching story

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  136. what the hell!! ok i know its sad the boy died!! but y cry?!!everyone dies in the world! his not the only handsome guy who died in the universe!! wtv!!

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  137. Some of u people who read this stuff are real idiots. Sure, it didn't make me cry either, but...

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  138. LOL, sooo too long to read. shounds shit anyway.

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  139. Ok, it's not at all boring, and it's extremely short compared to other books!! Have you never read anything like Harry Potter, or A Series of Unfortunate events?? They are SOO much longer!! You people are illiterate, seriously.

    BTW, this is an extrememly sad story, but honestly, it wasn't enough to make me cry :)

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  140. to elizabeth: thank you! to all the a**holes who are saying tis amusing or not sad, go get a heart, you cold bastards. to you who said you farted: who cares?! go get a life. and to those who didnt read it or were concerned about being "first": if you didn't care enough to read it, why care enough to leave a comment stating this? and if you said its to long, ive read books that are over 7,000 pages long. this is nothing. its a very sad but sweet tale, i didnt cry but my eyes watered

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  141. I pooped my pants.

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  142. It's really sad, i was really close to crying

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  143. if its too long to read then click back off it, dont say something is 'shit' when you haven't read it. and it doesn't matter if your first to read it, its just immature. it was sad but i didnt cry, but i am also not goin to sit and slag it off either

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  144. you idiots for caring whether you cried or not or whether you were first or not or whether the story was true or not.
    the story is about the morale so think about it instead of making some big competition.

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  145. Ok, It's sweet but I didn't cry n any1 who says that I dnt have a heart cause I didn't cry, GET A LIFE. It may be sad but maybe SUM ppl wudn't cry,does that mean we're not touched by the story?DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, we likr this story but we're not gonna cry 2 show it.
    + If any1 says that this story sucks, U SUCK. U're the 1s that dnt hav a heart, not the 1s who're not crying over this(cause we still like it)

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  146. Wats so crying stuff in dat?????it's just time waste!!!!i read it...

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  147. First! Lol JK I can count!! I see all of those comments that say first, and they are like the 5th comments.. But about thes story, although I didn't cry, it was nicley written and was quite sad, knowing that you can you die any second.

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  148. um okay, 1st things 1st, i laugh my ass off when the 10th comment says "1st comment!" and, you guys need to stfu about laughing and it being "amusing" because it's real. how would you feel if that happened to you? bastards

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  149. wow. that was very sad. ;( oh, and BIG FAIL to the ONE HUNDRED FORTY FOURTH comment that said "bah first" thinking you're all cool and such, lmao.

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  150. i was waiting for something really sad to happen at the end but all it was is that they kept their sheets! that was predictable! ive done a sheet like that at the end of every school year!

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  151. sad, but i didnt cry. Not very sad tho

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  152. i wish some one would write a sheet about me :( my life sucks

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  153. Sad but no so sad to make u cry!

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  154. it was sad..to get close to someone and loose them...so to all you idiots out there..get a life!!! If thus actually happend to you in realy life i bet you like 100 ooo bucks that you would cry or atlejast be sad..this is sad and to sit there and put yeaah this is stup! well..your stupid...soo..dont put anything if your gonna put something like that!

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  155. I cried but thats because i am going through something with my friend...and right now anything just a little bit sad will make me sry

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  156. I want someone to make me a sheetike tht

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  157. okay, so the story itself wasn't sad, but just thinking about it made me a little sad, i mean if i died someday i know there would be several people sad including a lot of my teachers so it kind of makes you think about whats important in life. yet i still didnt cry so haha lol

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  158. anonymous who posted at july 9, 5:43 am, AMEN! and the person on top of me. soooooo right

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  159. AWW , i really do have tears coming is , lol, that is one of the cutest sadest stories iv ever read ...

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  160. THIS IS THE LAMEST THING IVE SEEN IN MY LIFE. DONT EXPECT ANYONE WHO ISNT A PUSSY TO CRY.

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  161. i didnt cry, but it was very sad....i think if it didnt take ALOT for me to cry, then i would have cried....i dont cry very often. it actually kinda sucks cuz even if something is terrible, like if someone i knew died, i can barely cry. its really bad

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  162. you will cry at this... wtf? i was reading it thinking i hav jus been bullshitted :)

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  163. lame. kinda sweet in a way, but sooo fake. if this is actually a true story, i feel bad for the writer. way to make it as corny as possible.

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  164. well it was sad, but i didn't cried, you shouldn't cry at all, as i read he lived an happy life, where everyone really liked him, he's still remenbered by his classmates, that's great.

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  165. awh! that is really sad! but i didn't cry

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  166. i didn't cry. it was sad but not enuf to make me cry

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  167. i think it was really sad i didnt cry but my eyes watered

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  168. the story is boring
    but quite sad
    i din cry

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  169. who the fuck cares if u commented 1st or 2nd you fucking no lifers
    if must be some fucking retarded condition that causes people to bother about being 1st or 2nd when a ned feed comes out

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  170. that is sad i didnt cry most of these assholes are just using this for their 1st,2nd comment game which has gone out of control and lost its meaning. none of them can count. RIP Mark

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  171. hahaha good one mate
    you tell the fuckin scumbags

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  172. HAHAHA what a loser

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  173. not very sad at all. People die! Didn't even frown...

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  174. i didnt cry it wasnt sad its fake

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  175. Okay,you people that are saying some of the comments are bad (which they are) there is no need to curse at them cause that means your not any better. some of the comments i read are just dissapointing because all you care about is being first, saying it's amusing or boring. That's just not right cause it was a good story and some of you won't even read it because it's "too long" well if it's too long how do you know if it's bad or not? Don't judge a book by it's cover. I loved this story it was amazing and I almost cried.

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  176. the story is boring ....fuckin long too...nd it was nt meant make ppl cry..lmao..:D

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  177. didn't cry ore anything but it is very sad!

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