Growing up, I was joined to a group called the Bluebirds, which as I got older, became the Camp Fire Girls. I had a wonderful group of friends from our neighborhood that made up our troop. Similar to the Brownies and Girl Scouts, we did all kinds of activities and outings. We learned about many different subjects and earned beads and badges.
This group taught me a lot about ethics, morals and values. It also taught me about relationships. Not only the relationship with those in my troop but also the women who were my leaders. My mom helped a lot with running and organizing what our group did. But our main leader, Mrs. Bartlett, was our backbone. She was one of my favorite people. She was so kind and put so much effort into leading the troop. Throughout the years of our group, she was always cheerful.
Never would I have imagined she would be diagnosed with Leukemia. I am not sure how long she fought the disease. I remember seeing how it changed her body, but it never changed her good attitude. I was friends with her daughter, who was also in this troop. I can’t imagine what she felt when her mom, my troop leader, lost her battle with this awful disease, but I will never forget how I felt when, one night, my parents woke me up and gave me the news that Mrs. Bartlett had died. This was my first loss in childhood life and a sadness I will never forget.
It taught me at a young age that we must enjoy everyday we are here. I have tried to do this throughout my life, especially by appreciating the simple things.
I think of Mrs. Bartlett often, a special lady who lives on in my memory, and I’m sure, the memories of those whose lives she touched.