1. My little sister broke the news to me via text.
    I had just pulled into Trader Joe's and started sobbing in the parking lot.
  2. Mr. Helton was my Economics teacher my senior year of high school, and the only person that could get me to have fun with numbers.
    I HATE NUMBERS. They stress me out. I had no idea what a stock was before his class. I remember after he taught us I would look at stocks constantly on my phone because they turned out to be so fascinating. Also he made a competition to be the person who "invested" in the 5 stocks that made the most money by the end of the semester. The prize? An 8x10 autographed selfie of himself.
  3. My friend Felmer won it the year before me, and my friend Zoe won it my senior year.
    He used to say "You may not want it now, but once someone has it, you're gonna be jealous." It was the strangest incentive, but it worked. Seniors, at 2 pm during the last trimester of high school, actually took the assignment seriously and we would spend entire day's wanting to play around with stocks.
  4. He was one of the two teachers in high school who actually knew my name and would talk to me like a friend.
    He liked getting to know his students and their interests. He always took time to ask us about our friends, families, jobs, tv shows, etc. He was so excited to find out that I worked at Levi's because they were his favorite jeans.
  5. He used to give all his students a candy bar and a picture of a flower that he drew himself for their birthday.
    Such a cute gesture.
  6. He was also famously known for giving people wallet sized photos of himself. One was a selfie he took on his iMac, and the other was a picture his son took of him. He always beamed up when he mentioned his son.
    I have one of the pictures in my car still, on the passenger visor. It always makes people smile when they see it.
  7. One of my favorite moments was when he gave me his personal fountain pen.
    I had very briefly mentioned to him how much I wanted one because I wanted to write pretty. Before school ended, he called me over to his desk and surprised me with a fountain pen as a gift, then showed me how to properly write with it and how to refill the ink.
  8. I wish I went back to tell him how much that meant to me.
    High school was hard for me. Mr. Helton showed me there's always someone who will listen to you.
  9. Rest in peace Mr. Helton. Thank you for being a part of my life and memories.
    I'll go get that pen refilled now.