Monday, May 21, 2018

Our Mary

We're off to Boston to celebrate the life of this kid and I don't even know what to say.

Table 11, baby. From Kristen's wedding.

"Untimely" "unexpected" "too soon" . . . none of it makes any sense.

One thing I can say is this past week, in the aftermath, as my cousins and my aunts and my sisters and my mom and I have been sharing and reminiscing and coming to grips and trying to process -- at first among ourselves and then slightly more publicly -- we have agreed that we've all known one side -- or even several sides -- of Mary. Funny. Smart. Fun. Funny. Did I mention funny? That laugh. But what's come to light is this whole other side -- the wildly respected and adored AP English teacher side -- and it has just made us love her even more.

So off we go to celebrate. And to cry and to laugh -- because that's what we blubbering Irish-side-of-the-family do. We blubber, we cry, and we laugh and laugh.

And I think there's no better way to illustrate the side of Mary that has come to light than to share one of her former student's pieces about her -- without his permission, incidentally. It's excellent, and I'm thankful it's out there, and I'm happy to further spread it around.

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On English Teachers and Equatorial Guinean Swimmers, Andy Merritt

Mary Flatley made me love Shakespeare. Mary Flatley made me love Edna St. Vincent Millay. Mary Flatley made me at least try to love Faulkner. Mary Flatley made me love words and the power they have and the way you feel when you use them. 

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We miss you, Mary. Table 11 will never be the same.

1 comment:

Lisa S said...

Awww, Ellie. So sorry for you and your whole family. xoxo