One year ago today, the world lost a treasure of incalculable value. She was a woman ahead of her time, an academic who lead with her heart, an author, a scientist, a friend, a wife, a mother, and an amazing human being.
I’ve spent considerable time pondering this post. Truly nothing I can ever write, will ever accurately portray Dr. Lois Black, and she was taken from us before I could even begin to comprehend the few things she had time to teach me.
And yet, as I think about it now, even in her absence, she teaches me still. Scarcely a day goes by when I don’t think about how short each day really is, and how I mustn’t wait to reach out to people, lest they depart before we have the chance to spend quality time with them. I’ve taken to heart her wish to spend more time in schools, and that strikes me as particularly poignant since I have, by necessity, spent so much time in my son’s classroom this year.
Perhaps most of all, however, I think of how I still wrestle to implement even those few small lessons, as I find myself drawing yet another day to a close, a full year after her passing, with so much left to do, and so many people I should have liked to connect with, to sit down with over a cup of coffee or a meal, or out on a hike. And yet, today, one year has gone by, and today went much as this day went one year ago, busily rushing around, trying to accomplish as much as possible, and yet, having yet to really reach the people most important in my life.
Lois M. Black, Ph.D was a teacher, almost her entire life. She had a zest for life, she survived so much, she contributed so much. She left behind her husband, Jan van Santen, an amazing scientist in his own right, a talented and potent daughter, and a legacy of contribution that can scarcely be measured.
Thank you for everything you gave us, and for all your lessons continue to do for us. The world is a better place because of you. You are missed, and will be remembered, always.
Your friend and lifelong student,