Facebook is a tool both wonderful and terrible. It brings fast information with no real details. In an instant, you learn of relationships and birthdays, scandals and successes, and deaths…
That was the news this morning.
In my eleven years of teaching, I have lost five students. Three left us in a single calendar year. I remember all of their faces. Teaching high school, I look for the college graduations and wedding announcements. These are things these children will never bring me.
The hardest loss, for me, was Sunshine. Her smile was so bright that the planets would realign their orbit to circle her. She was a leader from birth and never even knew it, a force so strong that I’m sure the devil himself shook with fear when she renounced him. I vividly remember our last conversation; I am so glad I stopped to talk. She changed my life and taught me more than I ever could have taught her.
I am blessed to have known her.
Her memorial was a parking space of flowers and an empty chair at graduation. Her legacy is so much more.
Tomorrow will be a day to hug my students when needed. A day to treasure them. To look beyond the frustrations of my work and remember that we only have each other here for a little while.
Rest in peace my students.
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring