For the past eight years we've been on a modified calendar. This week should have been our first week with the kids. Instead, it's been a roller coaster of a week.
On Monday morning, at 10:01, two teachers at our school gave birth (yes, two teachers on the same day at the same time - we are a close staff :).
Yesterday another staff member, a parent liaison with our school for as long as I can remember, died of cancer. She's been ill for two years and those have been hard years.
As I mourn today I keep trying to remember those two new babies. The promise of their lives, the potential for all they will do in the world, the wonder of newborns. It doesn't take away the pain, but it helps.
This woman gave more to our school than any one person could be expected to do. She knew everything about our students, everything. She translated for conferences and often was able to make points, emphasize concerns, and say things we didn't feel we could say. I had a student, years ago, who lived with her after this girl's mother had died and her father could not safely care for the kids. In fact, she updated me on this previous student just last year.
When she first became ill we were all sure she would recover quickly. She was the strongest, most determined woman we knew. However, our principal was concerned about the time she would have to be away from the school. Her concern stemmed from the fact that she knew who really ran things at our school.
She will be sorely missed. Her influence, however, will live on at our school, in our students, and beyond for years to come. In my mind, she will now be our school's guardian angel.