Friday, April 27, 2012

In Honor of Shelley Reep

Today's post is different. A dear friend of mine, and so many others, has a new home in Heaven, and I know she has not stopped smiling since she arrived. She no longer has the pain and physical limitations she has had for some time due to cancer. One thing I've found to be true....knowing that someone has gone on to join the Lord and wouldn't want to come if they could does not diminish our pain when they leave. I've got a new hole in my heart because Shelley won't be posting on Facebook anymore. She won't send me an email to check on Billy or me. She won't Like my Facebook posts and blog anymore. My heart hurts, and I know her mom, brother, sister-in-law, and precious niece and nephew feel it more deeply than I.  They were her world, and she was theirs. 

I met Shelley when I was a very green first year assistant principal, and she was the fifth grade math teacher. We had a small campus with three fifth grade classrooms taught by Shelley, April, and Anna. What a blessed group of fifth graders we had! In the two years I was there, I grew to love the entire campus - students and teachers, but I was especially close to this group.  Several of us who had worked at this campus at different times formed the Playground Committee, and met every few months to have dinner for the next several years. 

Burnet Elementary Playground Committee
Shelley is second from left on the second row.

Shelley was the type of teacher who knew her students beyond the classroom. She cared about their families and their lives. She knew if they played sports or took dance classes. She was busy most weekends attending sporting events of her students. She made no excuses for her students, and she didn't allow them to make excuses for themselves. They were in her class to learn math concepts, and she would ensure that happened. She held them all to high expectations, and they lived up to them. Nobody wanted to disappoint Ms. Reep. Shelley became a leader of teachers in her school district, and some of her students have become teachers because of Ms. Reep. She has been honored as a leader in education in the state of Texas. 

In the midst of Shelley's battle with colon cancer, she was constantly concerned about others. She kept in touch about Billy's status, and when we made the decision to place him in a nursing home, she wrote my Shelley several times to check on how she was doing with this change. She kept up with her friends and how they were doing. No wallowing for Shelley. When she decided to stop treatment and enjoy a better quality of life, she traveled with her family and enjoyed everything she could with them. What wonderful memories this made for them, and what joy it brought to her. 

Shelley taught us all through her life, through her illness, and through her last days on earth. I am better for knowing Shelley Reep, and I am honored to have called her friend and sister in Christ. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your sweet post about our Shelley. It means a lot!! I miss her so much but I know how big her smile is right now in heaven!!!!!