There are some people who come into your life that make a difference. My friend, Shirley is one such person. She started in my district as a substitute and subbed for me many times. Her way with students always magical. Soon the principal at the time hired her and I lost a great sub. However, I gained a colleague, friend, and mentor.
Shirley began the after school drama club and when it grew too large for one person, I joined her. We had so much fun doing plays with students each year. It was because of our after school program I started adapting Aesop’s fables and Anansi spider tales into plays. I was pretty sure I didn’t want to continue the after school drama club when she retired in 2010.
Shirley is the example of compassion, positive living, and a source of encouragement. I believe this is what has kept her going the last eighteen months since her diagnosis of gioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer.
I saw Shirley in June just after another surgery to remove the tumor. She was in great spirits and talking about conquering this. And last Friday I saw her at the hospital trying to maintain her joyful energy despite the wretched headache from the growing tumor. Shirley is now in hospice.
Life is short and we have not too much time
for gladdening the hearts of those
who are traveling the dark way with us.
Oh, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind.
~henri-frederic amiel – 1885
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