Rosemary started at South when I did. We opened the school together- she was a math teacher with experience, and all of us looked up to her. She was a friendly, funny, and smart. When I ran into her in the hallway before this school year started, she asked me how Juliana was. I started to cry as I told her about the eating battles, and the three holes in her heart. She listened to me and gave me a hug while I cried.
Later that same week, I asked Tino (my boss) why all the department heads were wearing purple wrist bands. He told me that it was in support of Rosemary (now the math department head) who was battling pancreatic cancer. I was stunned. I immediately sought out Rosemary, and apologized to her for crying about Juliana in front of her when she was going through her own battle. She just smiled and told me it was okay. She told me about her treatment and that doctor thought they had caught it early. At the end of our conversation, we both were in tears.
As the school year continued, she and I would check in with each other- she'd ask about Juliana and I'd ask her about her treatment. She continued to come to work and she was getting thinner and thinner. A few weeks ago, we were told that it was her last day. Treatment had stopped, and she was going into home hospice. Every day since then, I have dreaded checking my email.
On Monday, Tino sent out an email that her condition had gotten worse. She was in a coma. This morning, as I came into school, I ran into the head of the school's library. She was crying. I knew why, but I still asked, "What's wrong?" She told me that Rosemary had passed this morning. I started to cry. I know that she is no longer in pain, but the loss still hurts.
Rosemary, you will be missed. Rest In Peace, my friend.