Kindness leads the way for Sheri Scruby |

Kindness leads the way for Sheri Scruby

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. ” About 12 years ago, Sheri Scruby performed a random act of kindness Pam Szedelyi will never forget.

One morning, Scruby was taking her two young sons to school when she saw Szedelyi’s trash overturned.

Scruby began to drive by. She saw the trash can’s contents scattered on the sidewalk.

Then she stopped and put her car in park.

As her boys waited inside, she turned the cans upright and cleaned the debris off the ground.

And she went on her way.

Scruby didn’t know Szedelyi was watching from her bedroom window.

“She never said a word about it,” Szedelyi said. “What an example she gave to her boys that day, and what a nice thing she did for me as a neighbor.”

For Scruby, kindness goes hand-in-hand with keeping peaceful relations with yourself, your children, your neighbors.

“There are so many simple things that people can do every day, that don’t take long, and don’t involve money,” she said.

In the two decades Scruby and her husband, Dave, have lived in the Roaring Fork Valley, she has made philanthropy ” and family ” top priorities. She has served on numerous committees and volunteered while being a stay-at-home mom to her two sons, Will, 17, and Sam, 19.

“I enjoy my children so much,” she said. “I have nice boys.”

This fall, Scruby’s oldest son went off to college, an experience the devoted mom wasn’t quite prepared to face.

“When you have a baby they don’t tell you how hard it is when they go to college,” she said.

Scruby considers her family her backbone, especially in the last eight months. She was diagnosed with breast cancer on April 3 and recently completed radiation therapy.

“I just really felt loved by my family, my friends, the community. That gave me a lot of strength to just do it,” she said. “Their words of encouragement and love and thoughts were huge. They made a big difference and that’s what kept me going.”

One side effect of battling cancer was Scruby’s loss of hair. Unknowingly, her sons and their friends made her feel better about the transition.

“They were comfortable with it and they were loving. With kids, they kind of accept you the way you are,” Scruby said. “Probably more teenagers in this community have seen me bald than anyone else.”

One little neighbor girl put it all in perspective.

“I was out in the backyard and I had my turban off. I was just as bald as I could be,” she said. “My neighbor’s little girl was there ” she’s about 4 years old ” and she has little cute ringlets of hair. I told her I liked her hair and she said, ‘You know when I was a baby, my hair looked just like yours.’ I just love that. That’s so honest.”

Friends are key to coping with cancer, Scruby said. They, too, helped her put her life in perspective.

“My girlfriends were so powerful for me. I could really feel the grief and the sadness of it all, but I also looked at what a blessing it was,” Scruby said. “My life is more fragile, but for every single one of us, life is fragile every single day. Any one of us could die. We all need to live as if our lives are precious.”

Taking time for others is integral to that mindset.

“I definitely write notes (to people) more,” she said. “And I tell people when I appreciate them, even hugging them. I think it creates an energy.”

Scruby’s Glenwood bookstore ” the Book Grove, which she opened two years ago ” is her sanctuary.

The store is a place where she can surround herself with stacks of second-hand books.

She can sink into a leather chair and read by the window as the morning sun shines in.

Or she can sense the thrill of customers as they find an obscure title or a complete collection from an estate sale.

Reading at home is just as satisfying.

“My favorite time to read is real early in the morning, right before the sun comes up,” she said. “My eyes are fresher, and that’s when I sit and think and meditate.”

Scruby’s actions ” such as reading to her kids when they were growing up or simply being a friend ” show the true person she is, Szedelyi said.

“She really believes that in her world, she can really make a ripple ” and that will make a bigger ripple outside of that,” Szedelyi said. “Her boys are lucky to have her. Like Sheri, they are very caring and thoughtful. And her being such an avid reader, they are intelligent. It’s just how she lives her life, and how she does special things for people. She really walks the walk.”

Even if it’s just taking a few steps to gather up a neighbor’s trash can.

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