With a heavy heart I think back upon the life of a beautiful woman who left this world yesterday evening. Brenda was my boss at Star Academy for many years... but to call her "my boss" doesn't really do her justice. Brenda was one of the most loving and caring people that I have ever met and I considered her to be far more than just an employer. She was many things to many people but the role I most frequently saw her in was the role of a caregiver. When she got sick that was one of the many things that made seeing her that way so incredibly hard. Suddenly a woman who had cared so deeply for us and for the countless children who passed through her preschool was the one who needed the most care.
Since I have known her, Brenda has been the heart and soul of her business, the life inside a building that makes it much more then just a structure; the love and passion that turns the patrons and employees of a business into a close knit family. She has touched the lives of so many in her role as a director and has had an incredible influence on so many families. In my own life she has been at times a friend, a shoulder to cry on and in some instances, closer to me then parts of my family.
When I think about how Brenda would feel if she could see all of the people who are mourning her passing I tend to think most about all of the families from Star Academy that she has left behind. As a teacher at Star, these are the relationships I see most completely... the ones that make my heart ache the most. To those families and to the teachers who follow through with her dreams, I say this...
Don't dwell in the sadness of your loss, although it is great...
There are still children laughing in your presence..
Imaginary telephones ringing in the hands of small children..
A baby that needs to be rocked to sleep..
A wet glue, glitter scattering work of art that can so easily disappear in the mess of our lives...
The excitement of a simple mastered skill of a child that may go forgotten in the whirlwind of life's most devastating tragedies...
I am confident in saying that Brenda would have wanted us all to keep moving, keep living, keep learning and keep teaching. Continue to let her dreams live & grow. The smiles on those little faces will forever put a smile on hers.
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