Tuesday, October 19, 2010

In Loving Memory Mrs. GP

I have spent the last couple of hours reading the wall of a facebook event wherein one alumnae organized what turned into thousands of former students to together wear pearls one day in honor of our favorite high school teacher, Mrs. Grimes Priebe (Mrs. GP), who joined the angels last week at age 36 after a fight with cancer. I attended the memorial mass yesterday and was so blessed to see a few of my high school classmates and former teachers and be in community with them during this time. Among others, her husband gave a beautiful eulogy. Her children (so little) are beautiful. Everything was beautiful. She was beautiful. I can't believe she's gone.

The wall of this facebook event has become somewhat of a virtual eulogy, friends and students of hers sharing memories of stories she told and "Pearls of Wisdom" that she gave to us every day. Pages and pages of it. The admiration that we students had for Mrs. GP was beyond words, she epitomized what it meant to be graceful, strong, smart, feminine, loyal, wise, a good friend to all who knew her. It was almost intimidating how amazing she was, like you wanted to present the best version of yourself each time she called on you, not out of obligation but because you just respected her so much and felt honored that she knew your first name. I remember signing up for classes before my senior year with such anxious anticipation to find out if I had gotten into her class, knowing it was my only chance to experience the legend of Miss Grimes. I remember how engulfed I was as I copied the content of her beautifully scribed white board into my notebook every day, awaiting her presentation. The next two semesters were no disappointment - quite possibly the most captivating class I've ever taken. She taught AP Psychology by curriculum but taught us so much more.

Missing her and grieving that I never got to know her better, or became more like her, has been a great source of perspective for me these last few days. What's important. I wore my mother's pearl earrings all weekend. I don't really want to talk about the wedding right now. Just wanted to say rest in peace Mrs. GP and thank you for so much that you humbly offered the world, we are all better because you were in our lives.
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