Today I went to a funeral of a colleague that I have worked with for the last three years. She was a dedicated educator. She gave her life to education, one student at a time. What a sad day. She was young, retirement age, two grown children. One of her children was getting married this fall, while her other child had two small children of her own. My friend spoke to me the day before her surgery about how she was looking forward to the summer and spending time with family and friends. She spoke of retiring and not working as much.
Her death was a tragedy for her family and for education. We all speak of the day that we will retire, or don’t work as much. We want to be with family and friends and spend money that we may have been saving for a long time. We try to prepare by taking care of ourselves both physically and spiritually.
Yes, every day is a blessing. But how quickly those days go by that we quickly forget the ever changing movement of time. Not only did I reflect about my friend’s death but I reflected on my own life and what is so truly important. I was so glad to be able to tell her children how special and dedicated she was. I’m sure they heard this message from others, from near and far, from those who’ve they’ve known for years or from people like me who only knew her for a few years.
I’m sure that every profession is thought of in a special way. From my own experience, education is a unique profession, we give and give and give of ourselves, hoping to make a difference in the process. Many of us don’t expect anything in return, being able to work with children is the gift. We all have so many memories of children and colleagues that have touched our lives, through tears, worry, laughter, or even just a smile. . But as I get older, I do realize that we are all replaceable. Once we are gone, someone takes our place to take up where we left off.
There is a time to leave and move on. I think we have all been conditioned that we need to work until the last moment, so we have enough to live on, and so our insurance will last, we don’t want to be bored, if we feel good we want to continue to work at the same pace. Is there a magic number that we reach in years or are we given a sign to help us with the decision of continuing on to the next phase of our life?
The last posting I had was to pause and reflect. How fitting. I do think that every day is a blessing and I am thankful for wonderful friends and family. I hope that I will be guided to do the right thing, make the right decisions at the right time.
You will be missed my friend. Yes, you did make a difference. You did change lives. You were a good mother, wife, friend and teacher. I just wish you had a chance to enjoy all the riches you deserved. My thoughts and prayers are with your family and friends.
A Good Teacher
A good teacher is a brilliant light,
illuminating the prism of a life,
revealing to students a rainbow of possibilities.
by Joanna Fuches