Miss Foltz (Crochet)
Mom received a scholarship to The University of South Dakota where she obtained an elementary teaching certificate. She taught 5th grade in Huron, South Dakota, for 3 years. After moving to Sacramento, California, she taught for one year at Our Lady of the Assumption School in Carmichael. Pictured are Miss Foltz with a few of her classes. Such lucky children to have had the opportunity to have Mom teach them their reading, writing and arithmetic and likely so much more than those basic skills.
I have heard from many people who knew Mom that even though she stopped teaching professionally at a young age (27), she continued to teach all throughout her life. Once a teacher... always a teacher. This was definitely the case for Mom. I think all of my siblings would agree that we learned so much from Mom. Not only did she help us with our math and reading and homework, but she continued to be a teacher and mentor to us as we grew up. Whether it was when we were having some difficulty in a job or a friendship, Mom would help us through - just like a gifted teacher would do with a student who might need a little guidance. Toward the end of Mom's life she continued to teach... even when she no longer had the gift of speech, she taught.
Below are snippets from a hospice volunteer who had the pleasure of visiting with Mom on a weekly basis - she said that she kept learning new things whenever she spent time with Mom.
"There are just so many things she taught me. The most important thing was not to assume anything. One time I was reading a short story called 'What was in Jeremy's eggs?' which was about Easter and a 12 year old boy named Jeremy. It took about 10 minutes for me to read the story, and I did not expect to finish the whole story with Alice. When we did things and she lost interest, she would get up and start doing something else, so I expected she would get up in the middle of the story. But she remained in her chair and intensely listened. When I finished the story, she said, "That was a great story." I was shocked to say it mildly. Every Easter time, I remember this and her lessons."
"Alice taught me the best gift I could give others is to just be present. To pay them undivided attention. No cell phone, no TV, no multi-tasking. When you are really being present, you can really hear what they are saying. People who have Alzheimer's may not speak in words, but if you are really present, they speak to you loud and clear."
"I've been a volunteer for over 7 years now. I've seen many patients, but a few stand out. Your mom was definitely one of the few. She was the most advanced in Alzheimer's disease among the other patients I had, but she spoke the loudest. Not with words, but with her heart. I am ever so grateful that I had the opportunity to be a part of her life."