Miss Fox was a large woman, not taller than 5 foot six, but probably 200 pounds. her body weighed heavily on her legs, and it seemed so contrasting to the fine, thinning divergence that was her dark auburn hair. At 8-years-old, I thought it was just weird old lady hair. Now I think back and realize she suffered severe hair loss.
Our Miss Fox had a large lap, like a grandma. The kind you’d want to sit in to listen to a story read aloud, but I don’t think anyone ever did. Miss Fox was very serious about making sure that we were learning. She wasn’t a hugger. She took to teaching as a calling. Everything she did, every word she said was an opportunity.
We didn’t know we were her last class ever. I think she might have known.
Even as an 8-year-old, I could sense her pain. Pain seemed to permeate her lower back, her walk, most anyway she sat. She didn’t stand much. She wore black, old lady nun shoes. Her legs were wrapped in elastic bands for support.
I suppose the pain is what made it all that so very important.
She told us that NOW is already gone − gone as soon as we say the word. That's what she said. She said we have to use every NOW as best we could, because NOW is so fast and so fleeting. She said that too. Miss Fox made clear that if we missed using NOW we couldn’t get it back. But, she said, if we always make the most of NOW, when we look back we would see WON.
Miss Fox died the summer after third grade. Our class was the honor guard at her funeral.
Her words about NOW, were her legacy. I often think about them.
−me strauss Letting me be