I shared the following with staff yesterday and it seems worthy of sharing more broadly…
There is nothing that hits harder than when we experience more than one loss in close succession. I, like many of you, experienced a weekend of reflection and renewal after services for Iga on Friday. Hearing about a precious life filled with joy and spirit was both sad and, at the same time, renewing.
I have always lived a life that has sought meaning and inspiration from those lost along the way. I have strong memories from the loss of my father, grandmothers, other family members, close friends, teachers, etc… Lives well-lived should set examples for us and I’ve always believed that the lessons of their memories should be cherished and enacted.
To that end, we have a connection here between a young child in the most brilliant and enthusiastic part of the beginning of life juxtaposed with a vibrant soul in the fullness of a life well-lived. If we were to reflect on what they would have wanted for all of us, I have to suggest that they both would have hoped for our joy and comfort. We heard on Friday that Iga would have run to us in our sadness, hoping to lift our spirits through the hugs and encouragement of youth. Joanna would have been the first to offer the spirit of resilience and hope for embracing life through strength and engagement. Both offer us the lessons of pushing forward with life, embracing all of the best of it and smiling broadly along the way.
They set for us a mighty example when taken together that should enrich and encourage us. We should all have our necessary moments of sorrow. But, we should also embrace the joy of their spirit, still and forever present in our lives.
Services for Joanna Olczak
We are preparing for our farewells to Joanna and have been informed of services along with some beautiful words included in a recently published obituary (click here) and (here).
The first obituary begins with Joanna’s favourite poem by Bolesław Leśmian. Loose translation provided:
“As I departed by that chummy highway,Translated by Alexandra Chciuk-Celt
The pansies’ eyes were staring great and golden,
With horseshoe rings of sapphire bruises underrround.
In limpid azure milled a butterflyway,
And ripe reseda rusted, to the sun beholden.”
And then the following from the family:
Wife, Mother, Grandmother, and Sister.
A teacher of Polish, educator, erudite, feminist.
An unconventional and independent woman.
Beautiful, delightful, inspiring…
In lieu of bringing flowers to the service, we are encouraged to donate to the Salvation Foundation that supports refugee women. There is a sub-account specifically created “In Memory of Joanna Olczak” – details of the account are provided on the flyer (linked above).
The school will also still provide flowers on behalf of all parents, students, and staff of ASW. We will post this information on the ASW Alumni portal as well.
February 7 at 12:00p
Evangelical Augsburg Church on Pl. Stanislawa Malachowskiego 1
Cemetery @ 13:30
Evangelical Augsburg Cemetery on ul. Mlynarska 54/56/58
We don’t know yet what the school will do on Monday and will be meeting tomorrow to discuss options. Please feel free to offer me your advice in this regard and we will communicate our decisions tomorrow before the end of the day.
Calendar Survey closes today…
The calendar survey for the 2023-2024 school year closes tonight. Please offer your input before the calendar is forwarded to the board for adoption. Thank you to those who have already submitted their response.
We have completed the appointment process and the nominees for appointment will go to the board meeting on Monday night. But, the portal remains open for application to run in the election process. There are two seats open through election and that process begins soon! As a reminder, here are the pertinent links:
- Application to run for election to the Board of Trustees: https://forms.gle/Z2CT7ZWBL9qqqqzd9
- Sign-up to join Aspiring Board Member Training: https://goo.gl/forms/cfjli5MvNnwzNiNs2
- Information about the Board of Trustees for ASW: https://www.aswarsaw.org/about-us/board-of-trustees