I worked at a small private school last year as a substitute teacher. The staff was so supportive and friendly, so welcoming. The most welcoming of the entire staff was M. She was the kind and loving preschool teacher who had two adorable sons, A and B. M was always quick to help me out, let me know where to go or what to do, and give me a quick break if I needed one.
I nearly always had either A or B in class because of the way the school was structured -- starting in third grade, A's grade, either the students or the teachers rotated with teach subject. The two boys were some of my favorite students -- A had a confidence and an athletic stride that lead me to imagine him as the quarterback at his high school one day. He was extremely bright and lively. He was the innocently mischievous type -- always up to something, but never anything malicious. B, on the other hand, was more of a sweet little boy. He was smaller than his brother and more soft spoken. Both boys were incredibly endearing.
The last day that I subbed at Orchard Hills, M stopped by the second grade class - B's class - where I was subbing. She asked Brett if he had shared his big news. He said no, and then announced he would be a big brother in the fall! I didn't see the family again until November. I was shopping at Target when I recognized a pair of big brown eyes peeking over a counter at the photography student. A waved to me, and I stopped to chat for a minute or two -- M was there with B, A, and three week old baby girl D for their Christmas photos. The boys told me they were at a public school this year, where my friend Deb teaches. I said I'd be subbing in the public schools and I hoped I'd see them around.
As it turns out, that is the last time I will ever see A. Last Monday, M, A and D were in a horrible car accident. They were hit by another vehicle and thrown into the ditch near the boys' new school. They, along with the other driver, were taken to hospitals, but A didn't survive. He was ten years old.
I just can't even put into words how unfair it feels. He was supposed to be a quarterback! He was supposed to be homecoming king! He was supposed to do incredible things because he was that athletic, that bright, that amazing. I'm struggling with the incredible injustice of it. My heart hurts for the whole family. My heart just hurts.