Monday, September 9, 2013

K is for “Kindness." by Shirley Mark

Our class was saddened by the news last week that one of our own had passed away. Shirley wrote so many good stories of her travels, her family, and her passions (like opera!). Here is a story she wrote about the class several years ago. It was one story in an ABC anthology of class stories.
 If you have a favorite memory of Shirley, can you post it here in the comment section? I would love for us to pay honorable tribute to this special friend. ~ Bonnie

Kindness – "the quality or state of being kind; good will; graciousness; kindhearted."

         All of the above reflect the kindness I have felt in the Downey writing class and in this one in Norwalk. How fortunate I was – how fortunate I am.

        Last week I went into my son’s old room, which is now used for anything and everything, looking for a photo. Going through papers, scrap book pages, etc., I found a letter from a Downey student expressing how much she enjoyed hearing about my travels. Next to it was a photo of the class which had been given to me, “in friendship.”

That was and is typical of the kindness that begins with the instructor and filters through the excellent and kind students. Am I lucky to be a part of the warmth, friendliness and kindness of that class? You bet!!!


  1. One of my favorite memories of Shirley is the cross-cultural connections she made in class. In the Downey class she sat in a corner with two students who became her best friends in class. One was a former nun and the other was a Baptist who used to be a Mormon. Those three ladies used to joke about how they were closer than sisters.
    When the Downey class closed, Shirley was hesitant about coming to the Norwalk class. She was convinced that it could never replace the Downey group in her heart. Of course, it took time, but eventually she bonded with others in the Norwalk class. Since that class has lasted much longer, her friendships there had time to deepen, and she became an integral part of our writing community.

  2. Very sweet. I wish I had known Shirley.