SOLSC: Shirley, Friend and Former Colleague



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

More slices at Two Writing Teachers.

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8 Responses to SOLSC: Shirley, Friend and Former Colleague

  1. Janet F. says:

    My prayers for you and your lovely friend, Shirley. I am so saddened by this. Make haste to be kind. So important to remember this. I will think of you all in these next days. I used to do drama, so I know how much fun and how much work it is and can be. So lucky you had each other in that labor of love.

  2. Linda Baie says:

    Thank you for sharing about your dear friend, Jone, and what she has meant to you. That you continue to visit and give her yourself is wonderful. Sending a hug your way!

  3. elle1955 says:

    Special people touching our hearts – so glad you shared her with us.

  4. Kate Schwarz says:

    It sounds like you are loving her in the present, showering her with appreciation, honoring her with your words that I’m sure you will share with her. Life is so fragile–we forget, I think–that I’m grateful for the reminder to savor as many moments in as many days as I can. Blessings to your Shirley.

  5. Carol says:

    I’m going to print out Amiel’s words and hang them up. Beautiful. Please know that you and Shirley are in my prayers. So hard…

  6. Shirley is the kind of person I admire! Brave, kind, determined!! You are blessed to call her a friend and she is blessed to have you. Saying a prayer for her health. Thank you for sharing Shirley with us this morning. I’m moved. She will be with me as I go throughout my day.

  7. Amy Rudd says:

    Your slice is a beautiful tribute to your friend…I am sorry to read of her entry into hospice…it sounds like she has been a wonderful person to get to know. Thinking of you and praying for all who’ve been touched by her.

  8. Tara Smith says:

    Oh, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind.
    It sounds as though Shirley has lived those words – what a special person.

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