I've spent the week trying to write this post, and I end up staring at my screen. Our high school lost a student this week, a 16 year old junior, as a result of injuries sustained in a car crash. It was one of the worst weeks of my teaching career; and yet, when I try to explain why I live and work where I do, this is the week I will reference.
I witnessed hundreds of kindnesses this week, between students, teachers, colleagues, friends, and family. Our high school has under 350 students, and a staff of 50 or so. To say we all know each other's business is an understatement. Often times that can be frustrating, but this week... I can't express the comfort that brought. We were free to be ourselves, to grieve as we needed, no matter who was around. We'd check on each other, and people were thankful that someone was there catching us in our off moments, as they'd done for someone else before. It sounds surreal, and it was. I wouldn't have believed it either if I didn't live it.
This place has been described as magical before, and it truly is. You don't have to love your neighbor, but there is a definite sense that we are all in this together. Sadly, we have some practice putting together benefits and memorials... people rally around those in need, no matter the cause. Knowing that I am not alone out here, trying to safely get my children, friends, and family from point A to point B, is more comforting than anything.
We don't know what tomorrow will bring. If this week has shown me anything, it's that we can weather whatever it is as long as we're not doing it alone. Tell people what they mean to you, and tell them often. Be nice to each other-- on good days and especially on bad ones. Take the time to smell the roses, but also to act on your dreams. It might not always be pretty, and it might not be the way we'd have scripted it, but we can get through anything together.