The Eraser - Encouraging Stories

by John Gaudet-Aubichon

My life as a boy was filled with violence, blood and hiding places. My siblings and I were shuffled back and forth between our violently alcoholic parents and a horribly abusive convent.

We were living in a small Saskatchewan town called Swift current with my parents during these rough periods and school was just a blur of new teachers, taunting faces and lonely lunches.

I carried the abuse inside me like a brick. I just felt like I had so many bad secrets that I wasn't supposed to tell anyone and I was so scared to let them slip that I stopped talking. I was also in perpetual mourning for my brothers and sisters. We had made so many promises to each other hiding under the bed crying while real monsters roared and no heroes came to the rescue. We promised that no matter what we would always be together. Well this was easier whispered from a terrified child than done and we were inevitably split up and thrown to the mercy of the convent again.

At best you could say I was barely surviving when I met a very special lady. You have to understand that with all that was going on with my mom and the nuns at the convent I had never had any positive contact with women in my life. That's why I was filled with dread when she asked me to stay after school.

Her name was Mrs. Shannon and she was my second grade teacher. I spent the afternoon filled with anguish as the clock ticked the seconds by. What new torture was I in for now? What ever had I done? I remembered taking a half empty milk carton and a carrot off another child's desk at lunch and eating them. (I was so desperate for milk and real food that I just couldn't help myself.) I thought that this may be what I was to be detained for. At the end of the day the final bell found me numb with fear and anguish.

I sat at my desk as kids bustled by me with taunts of "you're really gonna get it this time" and " what kinds of flowers you want at your funeral," etc...

The classroom soon emptied and it was just her and I. She smiled and said that I wasn't in any kind of trouble and that she just needed some help cleaning up. I was only slightly relieved as we started tidying the classroom up. While we worked she talked to me about everything.

Somehow she seemed to know that I was afraid to talk so she talked for both of us. She told me what it was like on her family farm and of the animals there. She talked about school, her love for kids and and how she became a teacher. I heard with loving detail stories of family and friends that I secretly longed for.

She began to keep me after school every day and I began to look forward to these sessions with this kind woman. Once she gave me a sparkly eraser and I kept it in my pocket for weeks fingering it with a smile on my face.

She encouraged me to read and showed me that not all adults were monsters. I was told that I could be someone, and if I really tried I could do anything that I wanted. She gave me hope.

Well I would like to say that was the start of a new life for me but it wasn't. I was soon moved back to the convent and I lost touch with Mrs. Shannon.

Eventually the department of social services moved me back with my dad as he and my mother had finally divorced. This proved to be a bad mistake and soon he began to drink and get violent. It all escalated until one June day when he took his own life in a fit of depression.

I kicked around after that, moving aimlessly through life until one day my sister called and said she found some things in the attic. In them were boxes of old toys and in one I found the sparkly eraser Mrs. Shannon had given me. I started to cry for this woman and the gift of kindness she had given me as a child.

I changed my life that day. I stopped drinking and started to write. I found God and have turned my life around completely now. I am married with a thirteen year-old daughter who also loves to write. I owe it to a lady who gave me my greatest gift as a child, kindness, hope and a sparkly eraser.

About the Author:
John Aubichon Lives in Northern Saskatchewan with his wife Chantalle and daughter Charisa. His short stories have been published worldwide in many books and magazines such as Chicken Soup for the Soul, Catholic Digest, and A Cup Of Comfort. He is a copywriter for a major network Radio Station by day and in the evenings he lives out his childhood fantasy of playing drums in a rock and roll band. John can be contacted at drop him a line, he'd love to hear from you! 

Related Articles:

  • Good Deeds - What Goes Around Comes Around

  • His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools........
  • Miracle Story - The Faith Of a Little Child

  • A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet.  She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even......
  • The Values of Life - Where Lies Your Priority

  • A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar......
  • Kindness Stories - Does It Pay To Be Kind

  • One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin  dime left, and he was hungry.  He decided he would ask for......

    "Live as you will wish to have lived when you are dying."  *-- Christian Furchtegott Gellert

    "One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't do."
    *-- Henry Ford

    "I now realize there are millions of self-made millionaires who started with nothing.  They dug inside themselves to find the answers and they succeeded.  There is nothing anyone else can do that I can't do." *-- Dean Graziosi

Home Page : Self Motivation : Inspirational Motivational Quotation Stories

All the site contents are Copyright © and the content authors. All rights reserved. 
Every effort is made to ensure the content integrity.  Information used on this site is at your own risk.
All product names are trademarks of their respective companies.
The site is in no way affiliated with or endorsed by any company listed at this site.
Any unauthorised copying or mirroring is prohibited.