My mom passed peacefully in her home last week. She was a loving, kind and patient mom. To her I owe my life’s calling: the joys of making, doing and teaching.
My mom taught junior high art, crafts and ceramics before I was born. She took a break to raise me and then went back to teaching as an elementary school aide.
Teaching at the junior high level is no easy task. Schools dump students with academic and home problems into the arts classes just to keep them busy. My mom’s call to be a teacher wasn’t really about how to turn a pot on a wheel.
I’ll let my mom explain. In a stack of her papers I found this note:
As a former teacher of 30 years working with junior high (now called middle school) and elementary students I was always challenged to keep the art activities of crafts, ceramics, drawing and painting “on the move.” This age student is very active and has a spontaneous ability to create and be uninhibited. That is how God created the teenager.
In later years I had the opportunity to work with adults who tend to toss creating aside by saying, “I can’t draw a straight line.” Inhibition sets in. The truth is God created us to be creative and we all have it within us. Our lives are enriched by the activities involved in creativity around us. Not just in the art of drawing but in dance, theater, writing, reading a story to a child, entertaining in our homes, gardening, workshops, singing, playing an instrument and on and on.
People are stimulated when encouraged and often find new abilities they never thought they had.
I will miss my dear mom. But it gives me great comfort to know that she touched so many lives.