Have you ever had a meaningful interaction with a person in your life, but not realize what a huge impact they made on you until it’s too late? That is what I had with Rosemary. My friend Rosemary passed away this month, and she was an inspiring woman who touched countless lives. Why am I writing about her on this platform? Besides being a nurturing mother, Rosemary was a faithful, selfless teacher in every aspect of her life.
As a young mother, Rosemary’s husband left her with three small sons. She didn’t have a job or financial means to raise her children. But she had a valuable gift—the love of children. She opened up a small daycare in the basement of her house, and nurtured and taught small preschoolers. These children had an abundance of love poured into their education through her simple, nurturing preschool environment.
After her children grew up, Rosemary put herself through college and received her degree to teach Kindergarten. She was an older “newbie” teacher, but her wisdom and selfless love for others made her invaluable in her Kindergarten classroom. Rosemary and I would discuss the latest educational policies, and as I would moan and groan about my overwhelming workload, she would just smile serenely and gently remind me, “It’s all for the children. Focus on the children.”
Later in her life, Rosemary mentored young women at our church. She would hold a Bible study and provide prayer and advice for life’s struggles that they endured. As she’d endured one of life’s greatest tragedies, the loss of a marriage, Rosemary provided quiet, helpful wisdom to the mothers who shared the same heartbreak. Not only was she a teacher, Rosemary was a mentor.
Throughout all these challenges and experiences that she experienced, Rosemary kept children first as a …
- Mother… as she supported and kept her family together
- Daycare provider… as she loved on children who needed a maternal figure
- Kindergarten teacher… as she taught the children the building blocks of elementary education
- Mentor… as she provided wisdom and comfort to other mothers
Rosemary lost her life after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. She was devastated to quit teaching because of her failing health. She mourned not being able to nurture children in her classroom.
Would you feel the same if you had to quit teaching? If not, how can you get the love back in your heart and the passion in your actions?
I want to share Rosemary’s life to remind us that no matter what life throws us, children come first. Not first in lesson planning or prioritizing standards or writing objectives or grading assessments or evaluations…. First in our hearts, thoughts, and attention.