The blessings received from being a teacher continue to delight me as I learn about the avenues of study and careers my students pursued. The banner at the top of the page shows the company that a former student formed while in college.
We sat together for a 45-minute a week oboe lesson while she studied music — and life. Ally was an advanced student and enjoyed music so much that her parents invested in an upgrade Rigoutat oboe to improve her playing. Her family was from Texas and found me through their teacher and the internet.
Ally moved with her mother, father, 2 younger sisters. The entire family relocated for her father’s job at the nearby nuclear power plant. Within a short time after their move, her father was killed in car accident just miles from her home on one of the curvy back roads of Pennsylvania. I only had the chance to meet her father one time before he passed away.
Ally barely became acclimated to the new state, town, school, friends — she became fatherless! Those were dark days for Ally. The next year she had the opportunity to meet my kind, considerate father. Ally was hired to operate the coffeehouse while my mother and I worked on a new picture book project. My father would talk about tuba and marching band with her. I was happy to share my father. Ally was a great team member and fit so well into the roll of barista. She lightened up the room with her smile and bubbly personality.
Eventually Ally stopped taking lessons but continued to work in the coffeehouse. Within one year after Ally met my father, he died from complications from hip surgery. The following week, Ally took the time to comfort me as we were cleaning the coffeehouse at the end of the evening.
An absentee spouse had already been calculating an exit plan. He had acquired all my earned income as well as the benefits of my generous family in order to raise “your-mother-in-law” as he referred to HIS mother who died 2007. I wasn’t needed anymore . . . my paternal protection passed away. I was alone though my mother visited monthly. If it weren’t for my sensitive students and coffeehouse Phamily, I would never had made it through the next 2 years.
Ally’s new company: 2 Seconds or Less says it all. Life IS short. We can make the most of our life selfishly pursuing our own pleasures — OR we can create an environment of joy and hope for the people we meet along the way — because they could be gone in 2 Seconds or Less.
If you are searching for a cause to support, perhaps you will consider helping with Ally’s new organization. “. . . we hate that people all over the world are needlessly dying for lack of food. We want to change that, and so we live to make a difference in the lives of the hungry.”