Spring comes to Chapel Hill…almost, at least for several days
It feels like spring is arriving, as Carl Sandburg wrote in one of his poems, on little cat feet. I was so torn this morning—to review a School report or start cleaning out the plants on our patio and prepare them for spring. The report won, but not without a little regret. This is a great place to live. Just enough winter to mark the seasons but decent weather all year round. Some days, I feel so fortunate to live here and have a job that’s so fulfilling—to have a job.
Letters to Jackie
I learned about a wonderful book, Letters to Jackie, when the historian and author, Ellen Fitzpatrick, wrote me last summer that she was writing a book based on the thousands of letters people wrote to Jackie Kennedy after the death of the President that were stored in the National Archives. She’d found a letter I’d written at 15 years old in unprocessed boxes. It’s a beautiful book and provides insight into a time long gone. I started thinking about the difference between a 15 year old then and now. The very idea of writing a letter to the widow of a President with a personal promise about the future seems, on the surface, naïve. Today, people might enter a message into an online guest book, although their messages might be just as heartfelt. I’d long forgotten about the letter and the commitment I stated in it to act on JFK’s principles. I still believe every word of it. Like so many of my generation, we believed in service and serving—and still do. From what I’ve seen of our students, it’s a bond we share. In this year, the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, our School personifies the kind of global citizenship Kennedy envisioned.
Loss…a young person dies too soon
Last week, Julia Strecher, the younger daughter (age 19) of Vic Strecher, former HBHE professor and a current member of our Acceleration Advisory Committee, and Jeri Strecher, died while vacationing with her family in the Dominican Republic. Julia was one of the very first heart transplants at UNC Hospital when she was just a toddler. She’d become a truly remarkable young woman, committed to serving others and teaching lessons she’d learned as an almost lifelong patient. She was a student at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. The picture of Julia on a memorial website is ethereally beautiful and so suffused with life and joy that it is almost inconceivable to imagine such loss. Our hearts go out to Vic, Jeri and sister Rachael.
If you would like to make a gift in Julia’s honor, after filling in the amount, please select ‘I’d like to choose my area of support.’ Select ‘Other areas’, and enter ‘The Julia Fund’. When reviewing, un-click ‘CS Mott Children’s Hospital’ to ensure that 100% of your gift goes directly to the Julia Fund. Then, fill out the form as directed. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Lilith Michelle (Moore) Gwener at 734-763-6099 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seasons, life and loss. Another Monday arrives. Have a good week. Barbara