Tuesday, April 21, 2015


There are those teachers, when your young and
obnoxious but they still fight hard to teach you 
not only the lessons that are listed on your 
report card but life lessons.
I have had a few.
Those that stay in your heart and mind long after
you are grown with your own family.
I speak today of one of those blessed Saints
who put up with my teenage shenanigans
and knew what I was up to even though I believe
I was pulling wool over her eyes.
Mrs. Janet Bowman.
Yes, this woman now, I hate to say
is suffering from one of the worst diseases
there can be:
Alzheimer's Disease.
It seems so unfair to have a woman who was
so so very smart to have this dreaded disease.
I bet she rolled her eyes and though
"Oh my!"
When after finally getting rid of me one year
in Biology to sees she had me again 
the next year for Chemistry.
I should have met with her before
her mind went too far, to share
with her what I did learn from her...
Now I am not sure she would know...
SO I write it here in hopes that her hubby,
Chris may read it to her and she will
at least smile...
I was the class clown. After having her the first
year I knew her, she me.
I knew if I could get her to veer from her lesson
plan, we could have a good class.
I knew if I got her talking of her young son,
Stephen, which she rarely did,
she kept family and work separate,
it would be a short class.
Yet something happened when she was veered
off that lesson plan and showed us who she
was at home. When she mentioned Stephen,
her eyes lit up, she swore at three years old
he was smarter than all of us and knew
that periodic table already.
I was a smart ass teen but I knew she liked
me, she saw past my obnoxious being 
to the woman I would become.
Sometimes she made me stay after class to talk
to me. Of course, I would be afraid I would
get in trouble. Yet each time, as the class
left and I sat there, being nervous that I was about
to get in trouble, she would only remind me.
"Lilly, you are better than what you want 
these peers to see, try and learn something while 
you are here"
Oh my dear, Mrs. Bowman I learned.
I may not know the periodic table but I 
became a nurse and her biology class was all over
the nursing years. 
It seems not fair that this amazing, shy, when
not teaching,woman has the dreaded Alzheimer's.
then I think of the woman I knew way back then and
I know that if she had a choice that someone
she loved, (and she loved us all)
could be spared pain or illness, she would take it.
It is a cross she would carry for anyone else.
As a nurse, I then met the man behind the woman.
Chris, her husband. She spoke of him sometimes
but again, she was more on separating family and work.
I had the privilege of seeing Chris with his very ill mother
when I was her nurse at good old Lady of the Sea.
I loved her, loved taking care of her, requested
her when she was inpatient because I also
knew that with having her as a patient,
I would have good and long conversations
with her son, Chris.
I was an adult now, embarrassed of how
i had acted in his wife's class.
There were times I asked him to apologize to 
her so she would know I grew up to have made
something of myself.
Chris was a caring son and then went
back to teaching and taught my niece and godchild, Tedi.
How she loved him and then we reconnected via Facebook.
Lately, Mrs. Bowman, had to be put into a facility because
being home had become too dangerous
for herself. I know Chris is having a hard time with this
and in private conversations we have had
he wants no one to focus on him,
only the wonderful woman the wife he is loosing daily,
the smartest woman he has ever known slowly 
leaving us all. Yet there is much to be said
about marriage in this little story.
He says he was no saint, and still is not,
that this is marriage, the vows he took,
"for better or worse"
yet, I remind him he is a very important part to
us all in this. AS many of us have taken the same
vows and have not made it. 
The care he has given her, carrying out ever promise
he made to her before she lost who she was,
for me is teaching us all so much.
Yes she was an amazing woman,
still is and I tear up when I think of the smartest woman
I have ever known being lost to this dreaded disease,
but I also know that even as she gets worse, he is still
there every day, still her husband, still following her commands
she made before now.
They are both here to teach us much,
not in the lessons I was supposed to learn way back
when i was in high school
but the lessons of life and for that,
both of them continue to carry out their calling
teachers to us all.

1 comment:

  1. VERY WELL SAID!!! Both of these beautiful people have been instrumental in molding many lives in our community. Unfortunately, this disease causes pain and suffering in the family that love them. Most diseases cause pain and suffering to the patient.
    Kudos to you Mr. Chris for sticking by those marriage vows. You may not feel like the noble man, however many do not do what you do. Life is not about the mistakes we've made in the past, it's about the person we are today!
    You are all in my prayers!!