Saturday, September 26, 2015

You Will Be Greatly Missed...

Today I attended the funeral mass of a former colleague. It was a beautiful service. The words spoken by Michelle's husband were so touching. Two of the teachers who made up the first grade team at my former school gave lovely talks. They spoke of Michelle's strength and her dedication to her job. It was a testament to Michelle that members of a very divided and embittered staff could come together in order to honor her memory. Years of mismanagement and an unfair entitlement program being located at the school, have left much bad feeling on that campus. Michelle was always above the fray. She worked for years, tirelessly, to organize activities that brought the staff together. Potato Day was always a high point for me. Michelle would bake numerous potatoes, and then we would bring toppings to share. It was one of the few times that I would actually eat lunch with my coworkers. I think Michelle knew right where to get me, in order to force me to behave better!

Michelle's daughter attended design school. When her classes were completed, Michelle donated paints, mat board, paper, and brushes to me. She didn't want them to go to waste, and she knew that I would use them. This happened on a couple of occasions. The brushes are perfect for glazing plates. They glide into all of the nooks and crannies perfectly. I think of Michelle every time I get ready to work on plates. And, I feel gratitude for her generosity. But, mostly, I am thankful for the conversations that we had about family and about battling cancer. She listened to me talk about my mom's leukemia, and shared her own feelings about her struggle. I am so grateful for her example.

As I listened to Michelle's close friend speak to Michelle's husband about the difficulty of writing and preparing their remarks for the service, I started to tear up. What a hard struggle it has been for family and friends. What a void Michelle will leave. I always think of her as being a peacemaker. Only a peacemaker could bring everyone together for a party after the service. The slideshow of Michelle and her family was very dear. Rest in peace, good and faithful servant...

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