Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Reality Check

Mrs. Eagle, Mrs. Reading, Mrs. Language, Mr. Social Studies, and a few eighth grade teachers and I spent this evening doing something that none of us ever want to have to do.

We were at the viewing for the father of three of our students at The School.  

Like Clever Boy's mother this past April, Father of Four was killed in Afghanistan.   

This has hit our building hard.  Father of Four had a child in each of our grades, so there's very few teachers who don't know at least one of these kids.  The youngest boy, Honor Roll Boy, is in my homeroom and is just one of those kids you can't help but love because he's so awesome.  He's pleasant, polite, cute as heck (half my girls have crushes on him), and he's smart as a whip.  It's just awful that he has to lose his father at this age and in this way.

The kids in class are all aware of why Honor Roll Boy hasn't been in school much (he did come for one day last week), but they're being really quiet about it.  None of the teachers have said anything, but these kids text and email and Facebook and who knows what else so there's not a whole lot they don't know about.  And considering how many of them are probably thinking, "there but for the grace of God goes my mom or dad", they've been very supportive of Honor Roll Boy when he's been here.  The military kids are good at closing ranks and taking care of each other.  It's one of the things I love about them.

As hard as it was, I'm glad I went.  I'm also glad I always have packets of tissues in my purse because it was necessary.  But let me tell you, it was truly dignified, truly special.  The honor guard standing watch by the casket was impressive.  All the military members that were there were impressive.  And the brief, private ceremony where the family were given gold star pins and his medals was impressive, and very touching.

We took a moment to talk to Mrs. Father of Four and told her that we'd take care of her kids for her and not to worry because That's What We Do at The School.  We love them as best we can.  She seemed very touched, and perhaps a bit surprised, to see us all there.  It was the least we could do for a family that has given so much.

God Bless you Father of Four.  We'll take care of your kids as best we can.


Sherrie said...

it's just awful to have to attend the wake of a student's parents. I had to do that a few years ago when a girl's mother died. I have two students I teach this year that lost one of their parents a few years ago and it breaks my heart! I have a 7th grader myself this year and I cannot imagine what his life would be like without me. I will keep your student and his family in my prayers.

TeacherFromTN said...

Wow. Things puts a whole new perspective on Veterans Day. The sacrifice is real, and the sacrifice is now.