A few days ago I was in a large gathering of people and was approached by a lady who was all excited and said, "You were my Anatomy teacher back in the 70s. You were the best teacher I ever had." She then called her husband over to meet me. She started telling him some of the work she had done in my class and how interesting it had been. I could remember everything like it was just last week and could even picture her 40 years earlier. What was really nice was to find that she continued on to earn her PhD in Anatomy. How nice it was to be remembered and know I had been a positive influence in someones life.
Similar chance meetings like this with former students have happened through the years so I already know how I am to be remembered.
I've been fortunate all these years to have a career that I enjoyed and that gave me the opportunity to help others get their start. So the difficult part for me has been coming to the realization that it was just time for me to go.