I began my teaching career at Ridgewood Elementary School in Hilliard, Ohio. It was a WONDERful place with WONDERful people. At some point in time some of us formed a "bird club". The "club" wasn't really for watching birds, but more for fun. There were six of us in all. We got together about once a month. I managed to meet up at the dinners about two or three times a year after moving away. Several years ago after one of the members was re-diagnosed with cancer, the "birders" started going away for a getaway in the summer. We have shared many laughs and much fun over the years!
About two weeks before Halloween this past year, we got word that after a short stay in the hospital our dear friend Joy was being sent home with Hospice. About a week later she died. We all gathered for her memorial service on Halloween night. At the memorial service "the birders" shared lots of tears, memories and even some laughter. It was hard saying good-bye to such a wonderful person.
At Joy's memorial service, I was amazed at how many friends, fellow teachers, former students and church family had come to celebrate her life. She truly touched everyone that came into contact with her. Joy found "joy" in everything she did and as one of her daughter's said, "she never had a bad day." Even as she was battling cancer for the second time, you would never have known it.
So... as a tribute to my friend Joy (and the rest of the "birders"), my One Little Word this year is going to be "joy". I am going to focus on the joy in little things that I often let go by. The joy I get when I spend time with my family. The joy I get when spending time with friends. The joy I get from teaching.
The "Birders" last summer, Melanie, Carol, Erin, Cathy, Me and Joy