I’ll miss you, Mrs. Harvilchuck

It’s rare that we know when our last moment with someone will be before they pass away. On Christmas Eve I learned that my all-time favorite teacher Lucia Harvilchuck was at a local Hospice. I knew I had to see her while in town, because of her effect on me in addition to countless others.

Mrs. Harvilchuck simply put had the ability to make the world feel like a beautiful place and for you to feel like your best version. She saw the beauty in you and in the moment you both were experiencing. I loved to email her post high school and would eagerly await her reply.

In an email from last year I loved hearing her outlook on life. “Life treats me very well! I am finding retirement robust with delight. I am treating it with somewhat of a lazy gaze, but that always seems to allow very interesting and nourishing occasions to arise. I am spending far more time out at the beach than ever was able to manage during the last five or six years of teaching. I adore walking the white Pensacola sands and feeling the gentle, balmy breezes that so often drift in off the Gulf. My daily, favorite things include sitting peacefully with my cat and reading, reading, reading.”

To think I won’t be able to email her for her beautiful, peaceful, uplifting words adds to my heartbreak, but I take peace in our last moment together.

I gained her attention by learning and saying, “Mrs. Harvilchuck, it’s Jarryd Boyd.” Our eyes locked and she lifted each hand to a side of my face. I told her I loved her and said, “I wanted to  say to you what you said to me before. You are a beautiful soul.” As she continued to hold her hands to my face, she said twice, “You are…” I told her I loved her once again, and smiled at her before she went back to resting.

It’s with tears in my eyes, but once again, Mrs. Harvilchuck, I love you. You’re a beautiful soul.  When the wind touches my face, I’ll think of your hands.  Whenever I need encouragement, I’ll think of you telling me, “You are beautiful soul.”

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2 comments

  1. I’m terribly mourning the world’s loss that Lucia is no longer in it. I didn’t stay in very close touch with her, as my family left the Pensacola area after I graduated, but I did manage to see her now and then, the last time being in September. I hate myself for having missed more opportunities to bask in her light. At the same time, I know she would break into a beautiful smile and laugh at my futile sadness and tell me to celebrate myself and the wonders of what life has to offer. I miss her so much. She was incredibly influential for me, and that I am sure she felt love from everyone around her – one couldn’t help but reflect back the caring that shone from her as though she were a beacon of good will. I doubt we will ever know how many people carry her spirit in their hearts.

  2. Sue Harvilchuck Kincaid · · Reply

    Lucia Harvilchuck was a gentle soul that I was blessed to know for more than 40 years. She was only a few years older than me but when she married my uncle,she became my aunt. What a joyful person she was- always so positive and upbeat,even as she lay dying. She taught me so much about how to live life to the fullest. I will try to be more like Lucia. I can never express in words how much I loved Lucia- I only hope she felt my love for her through my last touch before I said goodbye.

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