Cathi K. C. Mapes
Int'l Students Assc' trip: Old Ragg Mountain, VA October, '98
This page is dedicated to my wife of
almost nine years, Cathi, who passed away April 2nd of 2000 after a long
and valiant fight with liver disease. Cathi was a talented and dedicated
teacher of English first as an under graduate tutor at Virginia Weslyan,
then as a graduate student assistant at UMCP, an adjunct professor at UMUC,
a lecturer at UMBC, and a professor at AACC. While she loved teaching
literature, especially Shakespeare, Chaucer, and the Bible (its influence
on western literature), many of her favorite students were found in the
English as a second language classes she taught.
Here are some of the readings from
Cathi's interment and memorial service:
By Jaquelyn Lyman:
We come together today to return
the physical remains of Cathi
Kaye Mapes to the comfort and
security of Mother Earth.
We will miss her physical
presence - her smile, her
impulsive generosity and daily
small kindnesses, and her innate
sensitivity to policemen with
We will miss watching the
nimble way her fingers worked
a piece of fabric, turned the
pages of a book or one of her
students' papers, or adjusted
the tea shirt creeping up on her
Will will miss the way she cocked
her head as she asked a
question that we weren't
expecting but which made us
see whatever we were talking
about in a different light.
But as we return the physical
Cathi to the earth she revered,
we will honor her by remembering
what she believed:
- That the universe is an
- that each of us in ans indespensable
part of the whole
- that we do not ever leave it;
we only pass from one state
of being to another.
Thus, Cathi cannot be parted
from us, nor we from her.
She will be
- in the warmth of the sun on
the back of a babys head,
- in the call of a loon on a
- in the snow melting from the
heart of the crocus.
She will bend the willow in a
dark storm and bring
forth the snow of
We commit her ashes to the
care of the Mother Earth.
We honor the person she was
and will be.
If I should die, (and die I must)
Please let it be in springtime
When I and life up-budding
Shall be one.
And green and lovely things
Shall blend with all I was
And all I hope to be.
The chemistry of miracle within the
heart of love and life abundant
shall be mine
And I shall pluck the stardust
And shall know the mystery within the blade
And sing the wind's song
In the softness of all the flowered glade...
A Native American prayer:
Do not stand at my grave and weep
- I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripening grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush,
of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
David R. Mapes:
Teacher, Mother, Wife, Friend, Lover...
When I first met Cathi she was on her why to
teach a class at UM College Park, the first
of many times I would come between Cathi and
her career. To say I made an impression upon
her would be a slight miss-statement, the
impression was on her rear bumper.
First impressions can be deceiving, but I'll
always remember that first day of our
relationship when I felt both the full fire
of Cathi's temper, and the full depth of her
kindness and empathy.
As I came to know Cathi and her family, I
came to love and respect them, not just out
of my feelings for Cathi, but for the quiet,
caring, purposeful approach they all took to
life's challenges and opportunities.
Cathi was always a teacher first, and anything
else second. She knew that hers was one of
the most important jobs. It may be under
appreciated in our culture, but teaching is
the primary way any culture perpetuates and
improves its-self outside of the family unit.
And she knew that teaching people to read,
appreciate, and analyze literature, to think
and write clearly, and to understand the
discipline of academic research and honesty
was the greatest gift she could give, the
finest service she could render to this world.
If it was hard to earn an "A" from Cathi, it
was harder to earn a "D" or an "F". If a
student would do the reading, do the writing,
come to class and pay attention, and read and
try to implement Cathi's comments on their
papers they would receive a fair grade that
reflected the caliber of their work. They
would also emerge, whether "A", "B", or "C"
students, as better writers and thinkers than
they had been before. That's Cathi's true
legacy to us, more than the love she gave to
her friends and family, more than the life she
gave to Marianne, the nearly 3,000 students
she had over 17 years of tutoring and teaching
who can read with a greater depth of
understanding, express themselves with more
force and clarity, look for and find the
answers to their questions, and have a more
positive impact as a result.