For Allyn

close up of a yellow crocus

Spied a bit of cheer in a sunny corner of the yard. A yellow crocus. A little pot of gold for St. Patrick’s Day.

Yellow used to be my least favorite color. But last fall I went on a spree, grabbing early bloomers promising hues of butter, lemon, amber, and gold.

Yellow is for Allyn Teti, an extraordinary 4th grade teacher and dear friend. Her sudden death left us reeling but her example serves as a North star.

I keep typing and deleting trying to describe her and her impact. She was one of a few teachers who deeply understood and connected with our child. She *saw* kids. She gave oxygen to their sparks, celebrated their quirks, showed interests in their interests. She was patient but no pushover. She had a dry wit and a megawatt smile. She worked tirelessly for her students and the school but also had grand adventures.

And she was a proud Hufflepuff who loved owls.

I knew Ms. Teti before she was my child’s teacher because we served on the Local School Council together. I would have known her anyway because she was a legend. We remained close after my child moved to the next grade, but it took awhile for me to use her first name. She finally insisted. I don’t think it was just about dispensing with formality. It was a way to honor her rich life beyond the classroom.

The day after we learned she died, I knelt in our yard, pulling up grass to make a spring flower bed in her honor. I drew an outline of an owl and filled it in with pea gravel to keep the cats away. And I ordered an ambitious amount of yellow crocuses and daffodils.

Today I did not run outside, in the morning, as I vowed to do yesterday. But this evening I did force myself to hit the treadmill. At the mile 1.2 mark, I thought of the crocus and Allyn and the display started getting blurry.

I miss her so much. I kept running, thinking about how hard she worked, how much she gave. If she was still with us, I know we would be cheering each other on.

Here’s her about me teacher page.

photo of a smiling woman light complexion with short mostky gray hair in front of a cave (?) topped with trees
From her About Me teacher page.

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