News on a Sunday Morning

The phone call startles me; why would the school secretary be calling me during breakfast on a Sunday morning? Usually it would mean an emergency at school but the skies are clear and the weather has been fine. And then it dawns on me; this will not be good news. I answer and sure enough the worst has happened; a dear colleague has lost her battle to cancer, happened last night and there are no other details at the moment. I choke back tears and call the next person on our phone tree hating the fact that I have to startle them with the news as well during their coffee. And then I start to think of the severity of the loss.

You see, Cindy was one of those teachers that the kids absolutely adored. They all wanted her as their kindergarten teacher, she was the one that kids would talk you about years later as one of their favorites. She had a gift for making those very overwhelming first days of school for a scared little 5 year old into the most magical journey they would ever embark on. Her diagnosis last December therefore came as a great shock to all of us, especially those who had the privilege of calling her a very close friend.

Cindy was a uniter, a calmer, a quiet leader that would make you feel listened to and then would let you speak. We often talk about teacher leaders and she was one of those rare ones that almost everyone could agree to listen to. She didn’t raise her voice but that did not mean she was not passionate; she was. Passion to her though did not mean shouting or hammering her point home but rather starting a dialogue and getting everyone involved. I often wish I could be more like Cindy.

And so tomorrow we return to school, make sure all of the staff knows and our magnificent guidance counselor will take care of the kids. The parents will be told as well and once more our community must come together to say goodbye, to rally around the living and make sure we are there for them as well. And as we continue to live, to carry Cindy in our hearts, we must strive to be more like her. A uniter in this divisive time, a listener, a thoughtful leader and most of all someone who passionately lived her life, letting others know what they meant to her. We carry our memories, our thoughts, and we continue on as teachers because that is what we do. We continue to care, to teach, to lead, but we don’t ever forget. I don’t want to ever forget.

7 thoughts on “News on a Sunday Morning”

  1. Pernille, I'm choking back tears reading your post! My thoughts are with you and the entire school community … not to mention Cindy's family! Take care!Aviva

  2. What an incredible loss to your school community. You have paid as much tribute as anyone can to a fine teacher. It sounds as if her legacy was her life's work. Blessings and hugs to all of you.

  3. Pernille,A tremedous loss for your school community, my thoughts and prayers are with you all. Your tribute shows your love not only for Cindy but your own inner strength. You will all continue to make a difference because Cindy's spirit will be guiding you.JoAnn

  4. I'm so sorry for your loss Pernille. My thoughts are with you and your school community.I'm really moved by your post. It's definitely a touching and heartfelt tribute to her.Sending you a big hug, my friend.

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