Sunday, January 25, 2009

Is this the week for a new baby? Praying for a peaceful, pleasant and painless delivery, Janelle. Hope to get to visit with you in Febuary and hold the precious little one. And gaggle with the rest of the group, too. Are we looking at the 21st? Maybe?
I've spent most of this weekend reflecting, thinking about how lives cross and separate and come together again. Our school has been involved in a fund-raiser for one of the students with cancer all week. We've had such a good time and the kids have jumped on the bandwagon in a wonderful way. Coin contests between the classes, with the seniors finally figuring out the 25 pennies weigh more the 1 quarter, spending $1 to wear your hat on Friday, teachers paying $2 to wear jeans, a chili supper before the home game with our nearest rivals and culminating with the shaved head of our coach because $3500 was gathered over our goal of $1000. Goody got to be there for a few minutes despite having a treatment earlier in the day that was pretty devastating on him. He accepted his checks with an enormous smile and big tears. He left the gym floor to the roar of the crowd chanting his name in support. Small town America at its best, I believe.
In horrible contrast, we also lost one of our kids that day; a former student overdosed at a party at one of the college campuses. One of my "kids", Grasshopper was the model student during high school. He worked or played in my office his junior and senior years as our aide. He provided hours of hijinks, he was a clever practical joker and big hearted clown. I gave him his nickname when he would spring up from the bench every time the coach motioned him into the game. He wasn't a natural athlete, but he had a heart as big as the gym and everyone loved it when he got playing time. I witnessed him with other in my office, sitting on the floor, crying, asking them to stop the drugging or drinking, encouraging them to be happy like him, drug-free and sane. He offered to stay by their side 24/7 in order to keep them clean, to fight off others who pressured them to use. He hated drugs and alcohol...then. I don't know what happened, when we lost him; he graduated and stopped showing up around his friends, hanging with those he had no time for in the past. He got hooked, dragged into the world of drugs and alcohol and violence. He refused to speak to his old mentors, left his family to wonder where he was, he would run if approached. It broke our hearts, but at least he was alive and that meant there was hope he could turn around, clean up and be himself again. Friday took that away; he is gone, betrayed by the comfort he sought from drugs. I don't know what to do for his Mom, his sisters, his family who I work with everyday. I don't know what to do for us all, who lost a shining star to the dark night. I am sorry, Grasshopper, sorry we couldn't save you.
I'll watch the kids on Monday, those who knew him, those who didn't but pretend to; watch them grieve and cry yet miss the real tragedy of his death. It could be them, any of them who gamble with losing control and escaping, even once. Adolescents all, they will feel the pain for themselves, for how they are affected by this loss; they won't see the bigger tragedy of anyone being so lost, so hopeless he couldn't turn to anyone for help. I dread Monday, I dread keeping myself from screaming out to them, "look, open your eyes, it will happen to you. He is gone for no good reason, it is senseless to lose someone like him or YOU." Say a prayer for us all, my friends, please.
Stay safe and warm this cold week. Give us a shout, Janelle, when Homer shows up. Love you all, Hedy


Elaine said...

Oh thoughts and prayers are with you this morning right now and will continue to be. Senseless, yes, but maybe, just maybe, someone will gain some sort of understanding from this tragedy about how making poor choices can affect not only them, but also those around them. The benefit for your student with uplifting and is times like that which make you appreciate living in a small town. Blessings this week to you and the rest of the gaggle.

P.S. Do you have an update on Alan and Elena's little guy, Lane? Just wondering.

Staci said...

I love to read your entries...I felt like I was sitting in your gymnasium with the roar of the crowd...I think you could write lovely teen novels about the trials and tribulations of highschool. The gaggle and I could be a constant source of characters based on our daily dramas!!! Book tours, talk shows...I would be happy to be your manager.

I heard on our local news about a young man from French Lick that actually died in Terre Haute, would that be your Grasshopper? So sad, these kids have no idea the impact they make...

Anna, I cracked up laughing when I looked at the Tribune Star this morning. A local elementary school is using a "Have you filled a bucket today?" guidance program...I am going to have to look into this farther! How full is your bucket???

My 'favorite' cousin and his wife had a baby last night, wondering if little Gianna Garzolini will share a b-day with Homer Hardebeck?Some crazy couple in California had octuplets,too! People will do anything for a reality show!

We are busy with wrestling, volleyball and dance. Jadelin has a dance convention in Indy this weekend, maybe I will look up Bronwyn...I crack myself up...

I got my evaluation today, scored excellent in all categories except PR, and satisfactory is a standard rating, so I am feeling pretty good! Now, if I could just get all of my juniors scheduled for next year, IEP's meetings scheduled, Scholarships and transcripts mailed, and handle the hourly crisis of my students, my bucket would be full!

Janelle said...

No, Homer is not here yet! Just wanted to let you guys know that I go in on Thursday morning for a 12 hour medicine to see if it will help send me into labor....this is the same process I went through with Avery and it worked the next day, so I am hoping that we will have a baby by Friday!!! If not, I will get pitocin on either Monday or Tuesday. Apparently, my body hasn't dialated, so that's why we have to do the first step....

Just keeping you all's hoping Homer isn't 10 lbs!!!!!!!!!!!

Hedy King said...

Janelle, poor girl you have my sympathy; those babies of yours are attached to momma, aren't they? At least there is an action plan.
Staci, that was our Grasshopper on the news, of course. Sad, sad. You sound great, feeling better? Or just the results of that glowing evaluation? Good job! That'll add to the bucket, kiddo. Thanks for the nice comments on my writing; someone else has suggested that, too. But everyone would think it was "science fiction" if I wrote of the life of a school counselor.
Elaine, I haven't heard from Alan and really owe him a note. I'll try and see how he's doing.
We are off on snow days today, tomorrow and probably Thursday. Apparently, Orange county has no road salt or gravel. Guess we will spend all of May in school.:-(
Prayers to Janelle, Brian , Avery and Homer. Love to all.

Alison said...

We are home on a snow day today as well. Did you get any ice down that way, Hedy? Couldn't tell on the radar if it was just snow or ice mixed in. So sad to hear of Grasshopper. I just don't understand how kids who protest substances end up addicted. Breaks my heart.

Hope all goes well, Janelle. Praying for you and Homer.

Not much going on round here. Hope all stay warm in the cold temps and snowy weather. The 21st sounds like a great time for me. Where shall we get together?

Love to all.

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