Reflections: Simply Vaple

Vaple Martha Burt was someone with a special gift!. She had a way with words and was undoubtedly a master of the English language. She spoke with such confidence and flair that it was difficult to tune her out. As an educator, Vaple was guilty of making learning attractive for many students who would otherwise have been counted out. 

Vaple was a woman who was resolute in her convictions and who felt proud to stand up for what she believed in even amidst a wall of opposition. She was a champion for whatever cause she stood for and she stayed on board to the end. Vaple was of “rare stock”: fearful of no one yet respectful of all. 

Remembering Vaple Burt on February 2nd comes easy. Those who knew her understood how much she cherished birthdays. Family and friends felt duty bound to drop by for a visit, send a card, send flowers, deliver a gift, make a phone call or offer some token of love and appreciation in honor of her birthday. Auntie Vaple, Goddie Burt, Buttie,  Teacher Ms. Burt was a woman who valued birthdays so much that she impressed upon others to revel in their own birth anniversaries as well. 

And so as the anniversary of the birthday of a woman who was treasured by many comes around yet again, loved ones far and near who just cannot forget who Vaple Burt was will certainly be reminiscing on those really good times she shared with us. 

We will remember that high pitched response on the other end of the phone line saying, “HELLOOOOO.” 

For a quiet moment, we will reflect on the giant of a woman who walked among us and who left us in absolute awe because she was “Simply Vaple”. 

Vaple Burt can’t hear all the heartfelt feelings of love and appreciation many hold dear because of the life she lived, but during her rich earthly journey, she sat at her dining room table on numerous birthdays basking in the celebration of life. Vaple effortlessly impressed on ALL of us the value of a gift called life ordained by our Omnipotent creator. She made her birthdays not just about celebrating Vaple but about every single soul who shared with her. 

Today, life without Vaple is a blend of sorrow and appreciation. Difficult though it has been to have lost her,  the lives of those she touched would have been empty without the experience of having her spend her life with us. The many memories are cradled deeply in our hearts. 

We reflect on the 2nd day of February in honor of this gem of a woman who changed lives and made a positive impact in every aspect of life in which she was involved. 

She continues to make us smile! 



It’s okay to smile still,

Smiling was her joy

It’s okay to burst out with laughter

Through laughter she shared her soul.


It’s okay to reminisce now and then

She was family and a dear friend

It’s okay to whisper her unique name

Memories of her will forever remain.


It’s okay to cry sometimes

Crying makes us human

It’s okay in our hearts to hold dear

Special thoughts of a woman so rare


It’s okay to reflect one more time

On a woman whose light forever shines,

Our beloved Vaple M. Burt

May your eternal rest be divine!






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