"Sure. How can I help?"
"I need you to put a kid in my sixth hour. He's struggling, trying to change his life around and he needs structure. He needs my class. He needs me."
This is the excellence with which I work...
This is the commitment of the team on which I serve...
This is excellence...
"I was better at everything when Sis was here..." my text to my husband read this afternoon. His own hurt answered.
We all have days when our game is just off - but I have whole pieces of days that are just white spaces - still. When the conversation rolls around and I realize that I was present for the first time the topic was discussed, but I am missing serious pieces of the story, I am frozen. It's not like I have forgotten and then remember; it's a realization that I have no working memory of the event or the conversation. Days and months after the wreck, I could equate this event to the trauma of Taylor's death; when it happens now, I just feel helpless, frustrated, weak, not worthy of the excellence I've described above.
My friend, of whom I have written before, Sandi, watched the 11th year pass today since her son, Jeff, left this world. She carried today courageously - but I looked at her and thought - the world should have stopped eleven years ago. This isn't okay.
Our son was named a National Merit Semi-Finalist yesterday, scoring a 1510 out of 1520 on the PSAT test. To say we are proud limits the scope of that word. He told us in 8th grade he would be a National Merit Scholar and has been relentless in its pursuit. How much fun it is to celebrate him, to write about his accomplishment and share in his joy. However, the snarky voice who hung up on him when he scored a thirty-two on the ACT the summer after his freshmen year because he had just surpassed her best score is missing. The silence hurts and this isn't okay.
My friend, Sandi, was Wade's principal; she was Taylor's principal, too. Wade was in kindergarten at the time of Jeff's accident and his time at Moore elementary no doubt laid the foundation for his educational success. We always say, "There's no place like Moore." because our kids absolutely loved that school and thrived. The teachers met both children where they were in their learning and then set the bar high allowing both of my kids to work their own way to excellence. When Wade surpassed their first challenges, the teachers at Moore created even more. We are forever grateful for that kind of commitment to individual student learning and the environment Sandi and her teachers created for our kids. Though I didn't know then, I can tell you now, how many days my friend, the principal, Jeff's mom, hurt. I can tell you how how many days she wondered why the world didn't stop. Having just yelled at the boy wonder, the Moore alum, the National Merit Semi-Finalist to put up the laundry I just folded for him, I am awfully thankful she kept showing up - even though it wasn't okay.
Here's to Jeff and his mama, Sandi.
This is the excellence with which I work....