Memories, Thoughts, and Stories of Claire

 

From Dan Ewert-

Back in 1998, a group of us decided to go to the Renaissance Festival near Houston.  It included me, Claire, Anna Dutcher, Anne Hawkins, Amy Gass Kandilov, Peter Watts, Heather Schumacher, Cristina Rodriguez Crow, and Erin MacGorman.  Claire, Anna, and I were traveling along the highway at night and as we got to an interchange, we were trying to figure out which way to go.  I said we needed to be in the right lane, but Claire thought we could be in either lane and backed up her assertion with, "Stupid boy!"  When I pointed out how the signage indicated that we really did need to be in the right lane, she apologized.  However, when we actually got to the split, we found we really could be in either lane.  Claire basically revoked her apology by saying, "I was right!  You really are a stupid boy!"

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From Amanda Dillard-

Some fun memories I have of Claire come from a trip Claire, Lindsey, Lisa and I took to Fort Worth to see Cody in a play. Claire and I  shared the back seat of Lindsey's car for part of the time on the way up. We stopped at Wendy's on the way and she taught me about dipping my french fries in a Frosty! Good suggestion Claire - it's really yummy! Also on that trip:

She told me about some of her students as I helped her grade papers

We talked late into the night about marriage, our pasts and our futures in the hotel room bed we shared

We did cartwheels on a lawn by the Water Gardens in downtown Fort Worth and she eventually persuaded Lindsey to join in!

Of course she ran into someone she knew at the hotel's continental breakfast and we all waited for her as she chatted and caught up :)

I love you Claire!

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From Susannah Westlake-

One of the things I always liked about Claire was her fun, spontaneous side. I especially remember this one time... We were at the wedding reception for Adam and Stephanie (Cates) Houghton. Claire and Amy (Gass) Kandilov were goofing around on the dance floor and joined in the "Boot Scootin' Boogie". She was always doing little things like that and making us all smile. She is dancing with the angels now. We miss you Claire.

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From Ben Passty-

I just can't see her without that smile.  Looking through the pictures on this site, it's amazing how she's got it in every one, but the pictures in my mind as well: every time I try to envision her without smiling, she just breaks out into that broad, room-warming, tooth-showing grin.

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From Florence Van-

I was asking myself, what are we supposed to learn from Claire being gone?  I couldn't think of anything.  There's always the standard "Don't take your friends for granted.  Show them how much you love them."  But I think we already know that.  I think we were successful in showing Claire and each other our love.  Remember the un-birthday party for two summer birthday girls, Anna and Erin, that Claire and I threw?  And Claire Frog, who we took to camp with us when Claire was in Australia and couldn't come with us?  Hugs and sincere smiles have always been abundant.  So, what were we supposed to learn?  Then, the thought came to me that maybe instead of trying to learn something from her being gone, we should try to learn something from the time we got to spend with her.

So, what are some of the things Claire has taught us?

bulletTo go to Australia
bulletTo skydive,
bulletand to park twice.

And more seriously,

bulletTo love deeply,
bulletTo be silly,
bulletand to go for it.

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From Beth Polkinghorn as overheard by Florence Van-

Sometimes when people die, it makes other people kind of biased about them.  Like, "Oh, she was wonderful."  It's like them being gone makes them seem better.  But with Claire, I don't think it's bias.  She really was wonderful.

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From Amy (Gass) Kandilov-

I remember being Claire's "date" to her friend Kevin's wedding.  It's the only wedding that Claire attended (that I know of) where she wasn't participating in some way, whether being a bridesmaid or reading Scripture or something.  Looking at all of the pictures from weddings on the website reminded me of Kevin's wedding, and how Claire and I barely knew anyone at the reception but still danced and laughed and had a great time.  Imagine how many bridesmaids Claire would have had at her wedding - dozens and dozens, so many people were special to her.

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From Sarah Conner-

Teacher
Ms. Reynolds
 
I remember Ms. Reynolds as a sweet, caring, happy teacher, always there to help you. She was my 8th grade math teacher this past year and even though I barely met her this past school year, I feel like I knew her so well. She would always greet us at the door when we entered her classroom. And me, being the one to think ahead would always wipe my hands on my pants to make sure I didn't shake her hand with a sweaty palm. She would grip my hand into hers and reply "Good morning Sarah", always with a big smile. Even though I only had her class for 45 minutes everyday I feel like I was always around her. Some days I would sit in my desk and stare at the clock on the other side of the wall, hoping for the bell to ring so I wouldn't have to do any more fractions or integers or probability problems or homework but now I wish I would have savored those moments in math class because now I will never see Ms. Reynolds again. You may think I would be in tears by now but I am not because She would not want me to cry or anyone to cry but to remember the good times we all shared with her.I wrote this poem for herů
Ms. Reynolds
She was a math teacher.
Always kind
never mean
unless
you didn't pay any attention
to the math lesson,
but she's just trying to teach discipline.
She liked frogs
I thought that was funny.
We would leave class Friday,
She would say "See you next Monday".
We all came back the following week.
All they said was fatal car crash.
I don't know why
nobody does.
Students eyes filled with tears
I hope she hears,
We had not but love for
Ms. Reynolds.
Ms. Reynolds,
Was a math teacher

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If you have memories, thoughts, or stories you'd like to share, send them to Dan@Ewert.us.