SAM Retires

Found this old post in the remains of my old site.  So glad…

2008-07-09 09:38  After almost 40 years,  my dearest friend and partner SAM, has arrived at that stage of life called retirement.  Those who know this remarkable lady, realize how inadequate the “retired” label will be for her.  SAM is so engaged in our world – a voracious reader, patron of the theater, exhibit openings, historical sites, tea rooms and occasional bars, she winds down with NYT crosswords and Sudoku puzzles.

At her retirement party, after many tearful tributes, a bunch of colored balloons were released.  As they rose into the sky, one broke free. This was a fitting symbol. She can now soar, travel and inspire us all, as we look up to her example.  I’m in awe of this grand lady, mother and teacher.

Over her long professional career, she worked tirelessly and touched thousands of young lives and those of her colleagues, in a system that can be painfully inefficient and frustrating.  She was never discouraged, nor did she let her high standards bend. She put education and the kids first. Her work made a difference in this world.

During all that, she was a devoted and enthusiastic mom and community leader. Her example will be her legacy with her successful and charming daughter. Family has always come first for SAM, and that includes an extended family of close lifelong friends.  She never forgets a birthday.

Her passions for history, travel and art can now move to the top of her agenda.

I invited some of her pals to add a word or two…

Sue (2008-07-10 09:27:36)

WOW!  After that comment all of my thoughts will pale in comparison.  I have had the privilege of knowing Sharon for the past five years, since moving here to MD, she was an inspiration to me and kept me going during my first years of teaching.  She is my ally, coach, inspiration, idol, and most of all friend. She is always there when I need her. I hope she does not go to far since a friend like this you meet once in a lifetime…


Adlai Amor (2008-07-10 09:57:09)

What a wonderful thing to have a new set of tires! After all, that is what re-tirement really means. I imagine you will have fun gallivanting around the world with Boomer Bill. There’s now no excuse that I will not get to see more of both of you. Or at least read about it in this blog.

I am sure all your Pinoy teachers will miss you for the wonderful mentor and colleague that you have always been to them in PG County.

We need to have a retirement party. Soon.

Safe travels always,

Gerhild Dickerman (2008-07-10 11:19:40)

Dear Sharon,

CONGRATULATIONS!!! Now you are free to come to Asheville any time! I hope I will see you often here in the beautiful mountains.
Even though I only know you for a very short time, I can already say: You are an energetic and inspiring woman who makes life bright and exciting for my dear friend Bill.
I wish you all the best for this new stage of your life. May it be full of new adventures and lots of happiness!!!

Uncle George (2008-07-10 12:20:43)


You’re not retiring – you’re refiring! All systems go. As you know, Bill and I have been friends since our undergraduate days. I’ve never known him to be so enchanted by such a lovely lady.  After meeting you, I understand Bill’s, well, delirium. Trust that travel is in the future for you and Bill and that your travel will take you once again to Key West. Mi Casa es su casa.

XO  Uncle G (Tio Jorge)

Elsa (2008-07-10 12:40:02)


Congratulations for this new passage in your life and career! May the next one be filled with positive experiences, joys, and much love from your family and friends.

All the very best to you always,


Sara and Walt (2008-07-11 09:51:16)

We hope that you have a very happy retirement, filled with wherever your heart takes you.

All best wishes from two who are working on the same thing!

Sara and Walt

Tom ‘n Kay (2008-07-11 10:26:07)

We wish you a long, active, happy retirement.  Judging by what we know about your leanings, and based on our experience, it won’t be long before you are scratching your head and  wondering when you ever had time to work. You will have a grand time.
Tom ‘n Kay

Stacey (2008-07-11 12:41:20)

Mom –

I know you will have a lot of fun in your retirement years!!  I only have about 24 more years to go 🙁

Wish you the best…lots of love to u!


Mark (2008-07-11 12:45:45)

Hey Maryland Mom,

Congratulations on your retirement!  You’ve raised a wonderful daughter and that drive and dedication to have everyone you pass succeed in life certainly was a gift given to the thousands of students who entered your classroom door.  Now you have eight more hours a day to touch several more lives. You’ve already made a wonderful impression on me and my future, but you know you’ll see me early in the morning to take your Smithsonian tour.  You can never learn enough from this awe-inspiring mother, educator, and genuine saint!

Love, your so. cal. son,

Rose and Karl (2008-07-11 17:09:59)

Oh, my gosh, I’d be thrown off this web if I really began to say what I think of Sharon…and not for bad reasons, just too verbose!  Ever since she stole my doll in kindergarten, (after the teacher made her say she was sorry and give me a hug), she’s been there for me and everyone else who needed her! Bill once asked me what words or expressions I could use to best describe her.  Well, he probably thought I was nuts because I paused so long (whoa, Sharon has NEVER known me to be at a loss for words!), but gee whiz, who can sum up a friendship of 55 years (yes, we met in kindergarten at 5, so don’t believe her when she says I’m older!). “Not in any particular order”…Thoughtful, kind, compassionate, loving, tolerant, intelligent, ambitious, fastidious, analytical, honest, curious, reliable, faithful, creative…No wonder she made a wonderful teacher who made a difference to all those students!  I love you; what more can I say?!! Happy, happy trails (per Roy Rogers and Dale Evans) for your future, the best part of your life!

Rose and Karl

Andi Heller (2008-07-12 16:19:17)

Sharon….Your time has come and at such a wonderful point in your life!  The next chapter in your life has already begun, with a wonderful partner to share your travels and experiences!  It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person.

Sharon, you’ve been my Sunday afternoon tea buddy for years……you, Cam, Ceil and I have had much laughter and friendship when we’ve needed it the most!  They will always be cherished moments of my life!

I could go on and on, with your accolades, but I don’t need to.  You are an exceptional friend, whom I cherish dearly. My wish for you in the coming years is the attainment of all that you wish for yourself!

My love always,

Maggie (2008-07-14 11:58:21)

Howdy Sharon — and hearty congratulations!!!
I hope the transition’s smooth, and that you enjoy your new life to the fullest! Though I have no doubts on the latter. I look forward to seeing more of you here in western NC.

Take care,
Maggie (2008-07-15 23:15:04)

After redoing the math a couple of times, it all added up and it’s definitely time for a new beginning.  I think you got it right this time. Enjoy the adventure.

Hugs, Kisses and all kinds of other good stuff.

Cam Connolly (2008-07-23 00:18:55)

What I feel about you can’t be expressed well through the written word but I will try.  You are my angel on earth. You opened your heart to me long ago and you were put into my life purposefully.  You have always been there for me,inspiring me,supporting me,guiding me,teaching me,and loving me in all my paths that I have taken.  You were one of the first people I met in Maryland when I was a new teacher. You had to put up with a lot of mistakes that I made and you did so with a loving heart.  You taught me how to drive in D.C.,how to milk a cow, how to enjoy high tea, how to appreciate all people for what they offer not what you wish they could be. You were the first to hold both of my children in the hospital and you were the one that walked through the door in the hospital as my heart was breaking all alone watching my mother dying.  You ate horrible hospital food with me and you gently said,” Your mom is dying but this is just a natural process of life and you will go on.” You sat with me silently in the dark for hours and I felt such comfort from your presence. You will never know. This was a divine and planned moment I truly believe. You will now share your spirit and zest for life with others who deserve the chance to be touched by you.  The experience will be a once in a lifetime chance. A person like yourself only comes around once and I have been lucky enough to be loved by you. Thank you Sharon for bringing out the goodness in all of us and for inspiring us to be much more than we think we can be. I will be with you on your new journeys and I am so blessed to be in your circle of friends. Enjoy your new life lessons and remember….”If you love something…let it go free…if it returns…love it forever.”   You will always be loved so deeply by me. Cam

Sandy (2008-07-23 08:46:39)

There are no words to accurately describe my deep feelings for Sharon.  Each person who comes into our life change us in some way. Sharon only changes the people whose lives she touches positively.  She gives freely of all she has to help others. Always giving exactly what they need no matter the expense she incurs for herself. She encouraged and supported me through my second pregnancy while I was bedridden showing up each day with some surprise nourishment I could not go out and get for myself.  She stayed with me through the days of labor when I gave birth. She made sure I had a washing machine and dryer when I moved into my new house. It was hands down the best gift I ever received. I thought about her everyday when I did laundry. That is the purpose of gifts. The memory of the giver when you use them. She taught me how to analyze data and diagnose student learning problems. A skill that has carried me through to a second career and the ability to educate my child. That was what drew me to her in the beginning.  She was so smart, organized, generous, and upbeat. I wanted to be just like her. While I have been enriched through her presence in my life, I always fall short, the student did not pass the teacher! And she is the MOST PERFECT teacher! Although she is retiring from the job…she will never stop being a teacher to whoever comes into her life. I am blessed to have such a good friend, mentor, confidant, sister, mother…just to mention a few of the roles she filled in my life. I never know what part I enriched in her life. Perhaps in knowing Sharon the pleasure was all mine!!!  Sharon, I love you! Sandy




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