I’m writing this while she is still alive-awful as that statement sounds. I want her to be able to read the way I feel about her before the inevitable happens-and it will. We both know it. My friend, Aline, has ALS. Lou Gehrig’s disease. I was shocked when I found out. ALS affects more men than women, but strangely enough, my father recently lost a female cousin to the disease. It is not a pretty way to go. Then again, what way is?
I worked with Aline for a few years at St. Timothy School in Stone Mountain. She and Susie taught Pre-K: The Butterflies, they were called. I could not wait for The Middle Child to have them for her teachers! I must say that they were the only teachers who ever put The Middle Child on “red” for behavior. I cannot remember why. I must have deemed it that insignificant….
The Middle Child learned a lot in their class. Miss Aline and Miss Suzie were two of her very best teachers ever. They hugged her everyday. They were happy to see her everyday. They were the epitome of happy Pre-K teachers. The Middle Child looked forward to going to school every single day of that year. I cannot say that about any other school year of her life.
Not only were Miss Aline and Miss Suzie great teachers, they were great friends to me. I had such a great working environment! I felt like my co-workers were family. I doubt I will ever have that again in my life. It was a really special time.
We have all stayed in touch through Facebook and random phone calls. There have been catastrophic events that have brought us all together. Some of us have moved away-though not very far. Our children have grown up and we have grown older. I left St. Timothy the year The Baby was born. He just turned 10.
Even though I don’t see or talk to Aline every day, I still feel like she is part of my life. I was excited to be able to help with her “Bucket List”-short as it is. We are meeting for coffee next week. She has a very realistic view of the whole thing, and I would expect nothing less from her. It is happening very quickly.
Aline, you have been a great mother, a great wife, and a great friend, and let’s not ever forget: a great teacher! You have always done things for others before doing things for yourself. I am honored to call you ‘friend’. I am honored to have had you teach my child, and honored to have worked with you. You have made the world a better place. I love you.