My job is 45 minutes from where I live so, over the last 12 years at this job, I have made few friends. I don't belong to a department that socializes like the English and Art Departments I belonged to in the past and, as a counselor, I am rather isolated from the rest of the school. So, the few friends I have made mean a lot to this social human being.
I heard today that one of them who just retired last year to do fabulous things, travel to exotic places, and spend quality and quantity time with her seven children and multiple grandchildren, will have her dreams dashed. Kate has cancer and was told this week that there is nothing more to do. I don't know Kate very well-enough to find her amazing, an artistic English teacher who brought goats into the classroom to bring the Odyssey alive-and trust me, I've taught the Odyssey-it would take a goat to give it life. She was a teacher who taught outside the box and the love of her students was as apparent as bees legs covered in pollen. They could not help but be attracted to the joy she exuded, the energy that radiated from her, the thoughtfulness that touched your heart like a lap from an affectionate puppy. I know enough about her to know that she is one of those people whose life cannot help but make an imprint on yours like a thumbprint in soft butter if you are lucky enough to cross her path.
I am learning to breath in life slowly and hold it till my lungs explode. Kate and I are the same age, even the same month-I believe I am a few days older. Hearing this kind of news makes the disappointments I have had recently, trivial. I believe in miracles and am praying one for dear Kate. But in the meantime I plan to keep breathing slowly. I am looking forward to heaven but would like to enjoy my granddaughter a little bit more here on earth. Kate took the time to care about others-I have the note cards and book that she gave to me for encouragement to prove it. Those are the things that are important-not what you gather, but what you scatter-Kate is a messy, she scatters everywhere.