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cheryl gilmore

Standing alone…

“Sometimes no matter how much you love someone…if that person is unable to stand on his or her own…and you are struggling to maintain your own footing…the kindest, most loving and certainly most difficult decision is to walk away. And somewhere in time you may both find yourselves walking assuredly on a familiar path that will converge once again.”
~C. L. Gillmore, excerpt from “A Friend Request”~

Forever Sunflower Friends

As a teacher of multiple disabilities children for over 25 years…the words to many of my poems came through inspiration as I watched their daily struggles…

Each and every letter I penned
Began in much the same way:
“On behalf of seventy special students today
Could you help and be a Sunflower’s Friend?”

For over the years, our numbers have grown
And now we need a place of our own.
A place where wheelchairs can come and go,
And fragile friends can swing to and fro.

A place to explore on hand and knee,
With things to touch when eyes cannot see.
Where trickling waters and fine white sands
Sift and flow over stiff, small hands.

A place where a special child can just be a kid.
To watch, to play, to dream at their bid,
With the sun in their faces, and the wind in their hair.
Unique gifts from God’s hand with so much to share.

Words seem so inadequate and somehow don’t relay
Just how very thankful we are to all of you each day.
For you truly caught our vision, you truly saw their need.
And now you will ever be forever Sunflower Friends, indeed!”

by CL Gillmore
Poem from the collection “Of Roots, Shoes and Rhymes”

NAEP ~ A Forever Teacher

All of our “practice” is over tomorrow morning…real student work and real scoring at 8 a.m…oh my! I’m reminded of the love and dedication of teachers this week as I have the chance to talk and socialize with them again. It doesn’t matter what part of the country they come from…they are concerned for the success of each student. I am always proud to be a forever teacher. I’m off to dinner in a few minutes. It’s a brisk walk from the hotel to lots of great restaurants. After sitting all day, no one seems to mind the cold and an occasional snowflake. I DO miss Arizona though!

Designs our Lives are Weaving …


“You were there when I needed you. You stood above all of the others with your strength and you guided me. To each of you I offer my being, my love and all that I am.” – Deidra Sarault


We need both the rough times and the soft shoulders of a friend. They contribute equally to the designs our lives are weaving. The rough times press us to pray, to reach out to others for solace. And our pain gives others the chance to heal our wounds. We are all healers offering strength. And we all need healing…

Gary Wright – Dream Weaver


Roll With It, Baby


Roll With It, Baby!

“When life is too much, ROLL WITH IT, BABY!” How many of us have had days, weeks and even years wondering if we would get through it all? But somehow we did and usually it was because of those who stood by us. The poem “My Old Shoes” is about those precious few who stick by us through good times and bad.

My Old Shoes

There’s just something wonderful about a brand new pair of shoes,
Wrapped in that rich scent of leather, burnished and smooth,
They’re fashionable and trendy with a fit snug and tight.
As I walk, others notice and I smile in confident delight.
Ah, life is good, endlessly stretched out before me…
I’m really something, me and my new shoes.

But time passes and a parade of shoes have shuffled in and out my door.
Some stayed, some went and still others lie forgotten on my closet floor.
And those who have walked full circle with me are only a precious few.
Comfortable, broken and mended…well past their days of looking new.

They have carried and comforted me along the dusty roads.
Danced, paced, ran and stumbled beneath life’s heavy loads.
Their worn, faded leather absorbed the cold sweat of my fears
As joys and sorrows, hopes and dreams unfolded through the years.

One day soon these old shoes and I will rest quietly, cold and still.
No more to dance, to dare, to dream, or remember the wintery chill
From those who never really knew how cautiously I’d stepped
Through the sullen shadows of my youth to a life so carefully kept.
With new shoes for the passing things, good for walks in sunshine.
But always my old shoes to stay the end course…steady, true and fine.

By C. L. Gillmore, Copyright 2011

“Roll With It” by Steve Winwood

God Only Knows..

I’m having dinner tonight with former Sunflower School parents, student & assistants. For over 25 years parents, students and assistants brought such joy and meaning into my life each day as I stepped into my classroom.  The parents brought their tenacity and strength, my assistants brought their patience and kindness, and those special little students brought their unconditional love.  I miss them and carry them in my heart each day.  “God only knows what I’d be without them…in my life.”


The Little Sunflowers


The Little Sunflowers grow toward the light,
And always with colors so brilliant and bright.
Some may be straight and some may be bent,
But each little flower is still heaven-sent.

The Little Sunflowers are delicate, yet strong
And can brave life’s storms as they come along.
They never give up, they continue to grow,
Giving to all seeds of inspiration to sow.

One Little Sunflower is unique and fine,
But a garden of Sunflowers is simply divine.
They show us their beauty, strength and grace.
They show us a glimpse of God’s heavenly face.

May we all grow as the Little Sunflowers do
Letting their strength and beauty renew
The goodness, the kindness and love in us all,
Whether we struggle, or stand perfectly tall.

–C L Gillmore, copyright 2011