Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pat Simpson's Tribute To Mom


Pat Simpson, and her husband, Dave, were great friends of my parents. Natives of Arkansas, the Simpsons moved to York, Nebraska where Dave was a professor along with coaching basketball and baseball at York College. (I was blessed to play for him in both sports.) His lovely wife, Pat, was finishing her degree in education at York, then the University of Nebraska. When it came time for Pat to do her student teaching, she did it under my mother at Willard Elementary School in York. Pat saw my mom as a mentor and Mom was so proud of Pat's many accomplishments professionally, including becoming the head of the education department at Abilene Christian University. Today, Dr. Patricia Simpson sent her thoughts on Mom. I am sure you will be in agreement with me that these are beautiful sentiments, beautifully written.

She Walked With Grace (and grace has many faces)
A Tribute to Nelda Hawley

I thought when I first met Nelda in 1967 that…
she walked with grace—tall, poised, smiling, one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen... I wanted to be like her.

I watched as I got to know her over the next few years how…
she walked with grace—that aspect of grace that steps out with genuine unconditional, selfless, respectful love and mercy to help people in need. No person was ever a “project” to Nelda… I wanted to be like her.

I thought as I student taught under her supervision how…
she walked with grace—grace for children who messed up and needed kindness more than they needed punishment, as each of us does—the grace that always lets other human beings save face—THAT grace. The children were never quite the same, and I’m confident that I also was never quite the same…I wanted to be like her.

I thought as I watched her live with Alzheimer’s over the past several years that…
she walked with grace—tall, poised, smiling, still one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen—still GOD’s woman…I want to be like her.

I thank God for all she has taught me. I am better for having known and loved her.

Pat Simpson

2 comments:

Kraxpelax said...
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Family fun said...

Beautifully said!