“She died leading a simple austere life. She was a very humble person. She was literate but more than that she was a well-educated woman. One of her students quipped she was strict and fair as a teacher and headmistress. She was humanely kind, loving, without any regrets in life and was ever ready to help deserving cause. She was the teacher who taught us aesthetic values through art, free expression of the mind and heart and quality of creative thinking. She was literally rich! She was much richer in her mind and heart, something some of us may lack to have complete fulfilment in life. At a time when most teachers in our school showed open favouritism and preferential treatment to wealthy students, she was always fair to the poor and to the rich, ever helpful to those in need regardless of race, creed or colour. We should be thankful and grateful for having her play a key role in our life. She was our role model. She will always be our teacher!”
“Her life’s work and love impacted anyone who had the privilege of knowing her, be it her student or colleague. She never stopped learning, giving and loving until the day she passed on recently. She never gave up on her students, her colleagues. She believed, affirmed and supported.”
“We have been so blessed to have her in our lives, mentoring and guiding us. She is God’s gift to us.”
“Even after she had retired, she has never stopped helping the needy and being their voice. She was a strong advocator of justice and passionate educator. She never stopped loving us (her students and colleagues), never stopped asking how we were and never stopped caring, guiding and mentoring us. She was our strong pillar, our trusted mentor and friend.”
She sent out a video recording (her last) to us, still ever encouraging and thanking us, “Sweet ladies, I am very blessed to have you all as my friends.” “Please pray for me.” This video recording was circulated many times over. The pain and tears speak much of one who had loved us not only as our teacher, our headmistress but as one who had journeyed on with us to be our great friend. She left us a legacy, “A friend who loved till the end.”
In memory of my teacher, headmistress, mentor and friend. Her passing on really hit hard.
From C.S. Lewis:
- “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”
- “Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?”
- “The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.”
Friendship is God’s gift to us. It is one of the greatest gifts we can be given in our lifetime.
However, it is not a free gift. Long lasting friendships require our commitment, empathy, effort and consistency.
“This is my Commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:12-15
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:12-14
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13
“There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Proverbs 27:5-6
May we know how blessed we are to be a friend, and to have friends. May we pray for our friends. May we appreciate the friends we have. May we look out, treasure and affirm our friends. May we not take them, their love and kindness for granted.
If we have a friend we have lost contact with, had wanted to contact but the busyness of life took hold of us, may we take time and effort to rekindle friendship.
If we have been hurt or have hurt our friend, may we today seek God’s forgiveness and God’s restoration upon our relationships.