It was a tremendously difficult decision. It wasn't on her timeline or on her terms. So it doesn't seem fair -- at all. How can it be that someone who is the human version of Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree is not afforded the opportunity to make choices about her own life?
After 23 years of caring for infants and toddlers in a "home away from home," as a result of the current economic climate, and because her lack of physical strength impedes her ability to care for little children, Sherryl has decided to close her beloved day care. Our family has spent the month of January dismantling the physical representation of Sherryl's life's work. Clark Street will soon become a memory to all who entered a special place built with love for little people, a place where thousands and thousands of hours were spent teaching and learning how to love, share, and grow.
The first generation Sherryl cared for is now in their 20s, and we've often wondered exactly how many children have been in Sherryl's care over the years. There's a mathematical formula to estimate that figure, and whatever the answer, that is the minimum number of lives Sherryl has touched. In addition to those children, Sherryl has formed friendships with many, many parents as well as with those who have worked beside her over the years -- friendships for a lifetime. And for as much as Sherryl cherishes those children, their parents, and her co-workers, they treasure her, too, for all she has brought to their lives.
Closing "Sherryl Morris Day Care" marks the end of an era, and the tears Sherryl sheds are for the good-byes. She is not bitter because this decision was not made on her terms; she is immensely sad to see the work she loves come to an end. But through the tears, there are thousands of sweet, happy memories that conjure up smiles. Sherryl will remember the time she spent with the children, the bonds she formed with parents, and the fun she shared with those who worked with her. And they will remember their time at day care, too -- because of Sherryl. Memories: her handprint is on their hearts, and theirs are on hers. They all have been changed ... for good.