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Essay on Mom Published!

Kel M

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As promised, please find the text of the essay on Mom that Canada's Globe and Mail (link below) published today.


I'm so proud of her and am thrilled that people who knew her (and many who didn't) may happen upon this article today.

Thanks for your continued support!



Dianne Elizabeth Bishop

Mom, sister, friend, teacher, golfer. Born November 7, 1945, in Bristol, NB. Died May 24 in Montreal of lung cancer, aged 59.

Dianne Bishop had a great many passions: her children, her classroom “kids”, her friendships, chocolate and golf! On the November day she was born, the doctor sat snoring in a chair by the bed, while her mother and a midwife delivered her — an auspicious beginning. Born to Robert Bishop and Elizabeth Davidson, she was the fourth of ten children. She excelled at sports and basketball in particular, co-captaining her university squad in the early sixties.

Dianne was a born educator. She delighted in her more than 30 years of teaching and retained an enthusiasm for education until her retirement in June, 1997. She was a kind and thoughtful teacher, patient with children requiring extra attention and always respectful of their unique characters. When one of her students needed to spend an extra year under her tutelage, she would kindly arrange for a special lunch break at McDonald’s to gently break the news and to frame the extra year as an opportunity to be her classroom assistant.

Dianne was equally sensitive to the fact that many children lived in poverty and gave selflessly of her time and compassion to see them fed and dressed warmly. She was among a caring group of teachers who volunteered to make Christmas baskets of food and gifts for disadvantaged students and their families. Her own children often learned of her generosity from others who had witnessed it along the way. Discretion and compassion were just her way—Dianne was not the flashy sort.

Dianne was also famous for her love of chocolate. At Christmastime, my brother and I would be wide-eyed at the volume of chocolate her students would bring to her. She deftly found a way to incorporate her passion into the curriculum with a chocolate unit that you can only imagine was a hit with her students—particularly when the unit ending activity consisted of a chocolate fondue for everyone.

After putting in a long day in the classroom, Dianne would devote additional time to tutoring us— her own children— to ensure that we had a better grasp of the principles of math or science. As teenagers, my brother and I simply didn’t appreciate the extent of her sacrifice. We did, however, learn just how stubborn she could be when she set her mind to it.

After her retirement, Dianne was a full-time golfer. Like the teacher she was, she was methodical in her approach to the game. Out early and often, playing two rounds a day; she considered each shot before making it, consistently worked to correct mistakes and she practiced, practiced, practiced. She was patient with others in giving advice, communicating her passion for the sport she excelled at.

Dianne's retirement was interrupted by the diagnosis of small-cell lung cancer on December 18, 2003. Ever modest, she seemed genuinely surprised by the flood of love and support she received from her friends and family in the form of cards, phone calls and favourite foods, never ceasing to marvel at how so many people rallied around her. Despite living with this terrible illness she became convinced that she was the luckiest woman in the world — humbling us all in the process.

Though she could not control the outcome of her disease, Mom made the choice to approach living with cancer with gratitude for each day. She chose to confront her fears, to forge her own path and to live and experience every waking hour fully. She did not run away from the roadblocks in her way, instead choosing to see them as opportunities and revelling in the little victories. She found great strength and much happiness—teaching us all profound life lessons along the way.

Kelsey MacTavish

Kelsey is Dianne’s daughter.

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Did she also tutor you in the grasp of writing? That was wonderful! I am sure I would have really liked her. Wish I had met her when I lived in Montreal. Thanks for sharing. Donna G

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