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Celebrating The Boss


Aggie and Anne in lawn chairs with John standing between them.
Aggie, myself, and Anne relaxing at the cottage in Port Dover.

Two weeks after Aunt Agnes Anne Ellert passed away, we gathered in Waterloo to celebrate this woman’s life.

Certainly we entered the formal service with heavy hearts that ached with loss. Aggie never married and had no children of her own, but she was a cherished mother in all the ways that really count.

Continue reading “Celebrating The Boss”

A Valiant Struggle to 100


Agnes Ellert sitting in a chair on the back deck of our house.
Agnes Anne Ellert at her 99th birthday party.

On Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:45 PM, Agnes Anne Ellert gave up her struggle just ten hours before her 100th birthday.

Her favourite PSW, Tania, noticed that same morning that her eyes had changed colour, and spent the morning holding her hand. When Aggie took her last breath, she looked at Tania as if to say goodbye with a nod, closed her eyes and left.

I don’t think I ever appreciated what the Personal Service Workers do until I spent so much time with Aggie this past month.

We all told her that if she made it to her 100th birthday, we would have a party to celebrate. On one of her good days, Aggie smiled and said, “I will need a new dress.

One morning Tania came in and encouraged Aggie to stay with us saying, “Don’t go anywhere, Aggie.” Aggie responded weakly, “Where else would I go… I’ll be right here.”

Two weeks ago when we arrived in the morning Aggie said, “God wanted to take me last night, but I told Him NO – I wanted to stay for my 100th birthday party.” She never ceased to amaze us with her humour and love of life. Continue reading “A Valiant Struggle to 100”

Detours Often Unplanned

road sign says detour below a winding snakey arrow.
Some are planned… some are not…


“Are Your Students Better Off?”

While browsing a LinkedIn group for educators, the National Education Association, I came upon a provocative discussion that began with the question I just quoted above.

Herm Allen posted the discussion question to challenge teachers to reflect on the benefits students may have gained in their classrooms this year.

As I read through the short article, Mr. Allen was putting emphasis on the experiential component of a teacher’s classroom.

He linked the reader to another of his coaching articles, Experience Counts, where he spoke of his days as a student.

The thing that resonated with him the most was how a teacher made him feel as a student. That struck a chord with me, because there were a few teachers I had who made me feel worthwhile and inspired great admiration within me.

These were the folks who, quite unknowingly, helped me decide to dedicate thirty-five years of my life to educating students. Continue reading “Detours Often Unplanned”