Mr. Cloudy's Shelter
A Place to Listen and be Heard

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Our family has lost a very good friend - our Orchestra teacher. Rarely has a teacher, let alone any person, been able to convey a sense of your own human dignity and worth to you with more clarity and consistency, than did Mr. Brown. His Orchestras were families, and sitting in his class was more like sitting around a large dinner table, for the father told the stories of life and helped them see what they could be. And we knew it was no casual happenstance. No, this was with all the intentionality of parenting. But never with a sense of condescending -- always ennobling.

Dear Mr. Brown, I still cannot picture the schools without you. I still imagine being able to come ask you a question, or hear another of your stories. I still imagine being able to know in your presence that I am valuable. I still imagine you will be able to make me smile in the midst of this sorrow.

You are missed, our dear friend. But we did not miss what you were about, even if we did not see it as clearly then as we do now. And this is one of your gifts that still lives in us, that we can see right in front of us, all day long, the concrete moments that can be made precious by our conscious embrace of them, and our simple choice to offer community to those we meet.

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