She was dating an athlete. He was a distance runner and would often ride his bike to her house to hang out.
One day he showed up at her doorstep and told her he needed to go to the doctor. He wasn’t feeling like himself. He was tired all of the time.
A week later, he came back to tell her he had cancer.
He couldn’t see her while he was undergoing treatments. His immune system was compromised. But he stopped by for a visit before he left for a bone marrow transplant.
“That was the last time I saw him,” she said. “He passed away.”
MAKING THE BEADS
Dishon walked around her classroom on a recent afternoon. Students were making beads for the second day.
Some were using torches to melt glass into a bead. Others were using polymer clay to make multi-colored beads.
Dishon stopped for a moment to show one group how to make a burnished bead — a low, flat clay bead that’s polished to a sparkling shine.
“When I think about kids, shiny is a big deal,” Dishon said.
Dishon has a burnished bead that a student gave her when she herself was fighting cancer.
On it, the student had depicted a woman raising her arms in victory. The piece came with a card that said, “woman of strength.”
That piece helped get Dishon through her treatments.
“It was really moving,” she said.
The art teacher said she wants her students to make their beads with meaning and purpose like that.
“Symbolically, jewelry means so much more than just the piece,” she said.