Mar 27, 2009

Memorial Poem

By Kristine John

I had the privilege this week of reading an original poem aloud in front of an elementary school audience.
The assembly I attended was in honor of a dear friend, Susan Ludwig, who lost her battle with breast cancer in December 2008.
She and I met each other in 1992 when I started teaching at V.E. Johnson Elementary school in the Mesa School District.
It only took a semester to begin a friendship that will last eternally, and I felt honored that the teachers and staff at the school would remember our friendship and ask us to share a portion of our heart (through poetry, which Susan loved) with them at Susan's memorial.
The ceremony included the placement and dedication of a meditation bench, and incorporated storytelling and other elements that were important to Susan.
Tonight, I share the poem that my husband and I wrote together here with you dear ANWA sisters.

By Patrick and Kristine John

Ms. Ludwig as teacher,
Susan as friend,
A blessing to know her
A true friend to the end

Spiky, blond hair
And happy, warm smile
A ready quick chuckle
She’d listen awhile

A true love for teaching,
And for student’s success,
She gave what she asked for:
Always her best.

She taught my first child
The whole alphabet
My two year old boy
While she babysat

Many summers more,
She sat and she gave,
Tutoring children
Life’s road she helped pave.

She fought a brave battle
And never lost hope
She showed us her courage
She was not one to mope.

God called her home early
Which caused us to ache
For the friend that won’t be there
And memories we won’t make.

In honor of Ms. Ludwig,
Let me propose
Some lessons she taught us
Before I soon close.

Let us chuckle more often,
Let us laugh well and tease,
Let us work hard for others,
And want them to succeed.

Let us treat others kindly,
Of others think first,
Become strong and thoughtful,
Do not think the worst.

Live life for today,
And do what you should,
For tomorrows don’t come,
although we wish that they would.

Let us give what she asked of us:
Always our Best!
Let us live life with courage
And a kind little jest.


  1. Kristine, this is beautiful. A great tribute to a delightful friend, The name is different, but the attributes remind me of many dear friends. It's great to know that death only separates us for a while. It's good that we, the living, keep remembering,.

  2. Isn't it wonderful to know you will be friends for seems to help ease the temporary loneliness here.


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