Back in 2005 Vicki was named Wal Mart Teacher of the Year and after rereading Vicki's memorial service notes on Rev. Lumsden's Blog, I thought again about Vicki and her desire to do good without fanfare and attention to herself. In fact, Rev. Lumsden's blog has several recent posts on humility and Vicki was certainly a humble servant of GOD! RJ, (Rev. James) starts his notes for this Sunday's sermon titled, "Taking Ourselves More Lightly.", with the following quote, "The Roman Catholic theologian, G.K. Chesterton, once said that the “reason angels can fly is because… they take themselves so lightly.” Vicki truly did fly and yes she was an angel. In fact, ironically RJ said this in his spoken tribute to Vicki during her memorial service last December....
"The prophet Isaiah told the people of Israel living in exile that God would send them angels to bring them comfort and peace – Vicki was one of those angels, I think, she certainly was to me. And I think she was to her school and her family and her church. She knew how important it was to quietly and consistently bring comfort to those who needed it the most – and her testimony has a lot to teach us who remain about how the words of God become flesh."
What has really stirred me today is the irony in the connections between Vicki, her memorial service, RJ's new sermon, and Vicki's handling of her teacher of the Year Award! She seemed almost embarrassed by the attention. She spoke to me about it and I tried to convince her that it was a good thing and attention she deserved. I don't actually think she thought she was undeserving of the award. I just think she was, as always, uncomfortable with the attention paid to her. She just enjoyed doing what she loved and making a difference without fanfare.
Not long after Vicki died I had the most difficult task of having to go to Vicki's classroom to get her stuff! I was grateful that her best friend and fellow teacher Cathy, was there to help me. Thank you again, Cathy! I'll tell you, after twenty plus years she had lots of stuff! I hated dismantling this part of her life, but I have saved every bit of it and sometime soon it will be comforting to go through again. I pondered the whereabouts of that plaque and you can see at the top of my blog. I certainly wanted it, but thought it was probably at home in a closet or other important memory storage spot. But NO, I found it wrapped in the blue apron Vicki is wearing in the photos on this blog from that day, stuffed into the middle of a giant cabinet filled with art supplies in her classroom. Just stuffed in there like it really didn't matter! Well, that plaque is here in my home and it is an honor and tribute that she deserves for her service to humanity, for her quiet and kind approach to living every minute of her life, for always looking for a way to help instead of a way to say no, for always transcending herself in the interest of others, for never, ever being selfish, and simply because she was, and is an angel. I am blessed to have been in her life and can only hope to be a fraction of what she was in her her short but fulfilling life!
One last Quote that I found after Vicki died and just seemed like her talking to me!
"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."
- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross