Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In memory of Sydney Minter

Theme song for this post: Alabama's "Angel's Among Us".

I hate that this is the first post I've written in so long. I don't have a good reason for why I stopped blogging last year, except that Marshall came home from his deployment and life got crazy and busy again and I wasn't on the computer very much. However, I know with the new baby and our impending move overseas I will HAVE to blog more to keep family and friends informed. I promise I will try.

I just found out on facebook about the passing of Syd Minter, who was the librarian at the school where I taught in Newport News, VA for the last 2 school years. I had no idea she was even sick, apparently she had a very short fight with cancer, and sadly- lost. Here is a link to her obituary: Sydney Minter
Sydney was not only a colleague of mine, but a friend. Sometimes I would just walk by the library to see if she was in her office for a chat. She was the coordinator for the Battle of the Books team from our school and I would help her by reading a few of the books on the list and writing out practice questions for the kids. Sydney always wore the most beautiful funky colored outfits to school, and I specifically remember her "pocketbook". It was a purse that she made out of a book by removing the pages, sewing fabric along the spine, and attaching a handle....for a librarian that is SO COOL! Haha!

Syd also opened up her home to our family one year for Easter when we couldn't drive home to NC. She said there would be plenty of families there with kids, and she would have treats for them. When we got there we realized that her daughter-in-law worked where Maddox went to daycare and our kids were friends- such a surprise! Syd arranged an Easter Egg hunt around the house for the children, which was so thoughtful. Here's a picture of Maddox and Marshall looking for eggs in Syd's front yard:

Sydney went with some of my students to the All-City Orchestra auditions one year when I couldn't attend because I was already going to a wedding. A few of my Orchestra kids were also in the Junior Honor Society that she was a sponsor of, or in Battle of the Books- I know the kids are just heartbroken. I read some of the posts on the online guestbook, and some of them are from my former students. I wish I was there to give them a hug.

I'm really sad that I'm not going to be able to attend her Memorial Service on Wednesday. It's just so far of a drive and I'd have to take Mav with me, stop for feedings, etc. Still, it would be so nice to see everyone from school, let them see Maverick, and pay my respects- it's just not feasible at this point. I'll close with one more story of Sydney.

Right after Marshall left for his deployment last year there was a shooting at the base where he was in Iraq. I was in between classes and got on the computer and the story popped up on MSNBC: "5 killed in a shooting at Camp Liberty" (or something like that). Someone went into the stress clinic and started firing, killing a handful of people. I knew in my head that Marshall was fine, he had no reason to be in that clinic. But then my heart started racing. I hadn't heard from him. What if he was there? What if he just happened to be walking by? What if the uniforms were going to show up at school to tell me my husband was dead? I started sweating, my heart was pounding, my hands were shaking and I ran out of my classroom and down the hall to the library- straight to Sydney's office. I was FREAKING OUT. She knew exactly what to do. She had me sit in her chair, she got me a glass of water and listened to me. She called the office and got someone to cover my next class. She talked me down from a ledge that day and saw a side of me that not many people do. I finally did hear from Marshall later on that day, and of course he was fine. He told me to stop watching the news. I know I told her "thank you"....but it was not enough. Thank you Sydney for what you did for me, what you did for our kids, and for being you. I will remember you fondly the rest of my life.

I hate you cancer.


Jessie said...

Such a sweet entry. It is wonderful to be so nicely remembered.

Marshall McIntyre said...

Oh no! Not Sydney! That was such a wonderful Easter. She was the only other person at your school that talked to me.

JaclynJohnson said...

Good to see you back in the blogger world, but sooooo sorry for your loss, Mary. Thinking of you today!

Em said...

Wow, so sorry, Mary. Glad to see you blogging again! Love you!