I don't remember the last time I saw Cindy Messier. It might have been a theater event or a Christmas party at Judy's house. Perhaps it was at Chuck's China Inn. She and husband Ed Maguire held court there most Friday evenings. But that was a long time ago.

What I do remember about the last time I saw Cindy was that she lit up the room. She always did. Cindy was the person that everyone wanted to be around, and they usually gravitated towards her. Cindy was fun and funny and kind. She was a gentlewoman.

Cindy never had any children of her own, but she sure helped to raise hundreds of other people's kids. A sixth-grade teacher at the East Fairhaven School for more than 40 years until her retirement in 2008, Cindy helped guide many a youngster from childhood to adolescence. She also taught children about the world of theater that she loved so much.

Many will remember Cindy for her involvement on stage and behind the scenes at New Bedford's Your Theater Inc., where she directed, acted and served as president and past president during several decades with the theater company. She directed me in a children's production some 35 years ago.

Cindy spent the last years of her life in a battle with Alzheimer's disease, robbing her of her memories of a rich and rewarding life, and robbing her family and many friends of the woman they cherished so dearly.

Cynthia "Cindy" Messier touched so many people, truly making a difference in their lives, whether it was helping a child to understand a homework assignment or giving a young adult the confidence to step before an audience and perform. Those are the things that make people like Cindy Messier an everyday heroine. You won't read about her in the history books, but Cindy's impact will be felt for years to come.

Good job, Cindy. We'll miss you. You made a difference for us all.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

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