He Died This Summer

He is not returning to school because he died this summer. The words still echo in some hollow chamber of my mind. I remember a lump in my throat and stiffness in my body as the news moved from reality to surreal. “Yep, seems he hot wired a truck and drove to Texas. The report said he traded off driving with a buddy who feel asleep. They hit a cement barrier and …..”

This was the news that hit me as I returned back to school over a decade ago. We will call his name Mike. Mike was a project of mine, someone who I always tried to look after and make smile each day. He had no dad and multiple siblings. Mom worked three jobs and seemed to give it her all.

Mike danced in and out of trouble as the hot seat always followed him around the school campus. He never truly crossed the line of being a “bad kid” but simply a fellow lacking guidance. There were times when he would be reported tardy to class and I would find him in the Lifeskills room reading to the kids in class or pushing them around in wheelchairs.

Mike was a project that I never got to finish. A life that ended way too soon. As you return to the routine of school, please carry this story of Mike with you as you hit the wall or look for energy to tackle the extra mile. You are in a very special business and it is life changing and life making. Also, please carry a sense of urgency. Tomorrow is unpromised to all and we need to give everything today. You probably have a “Mike” and he is in school. So for Mike’s sake, keep up the fight and follow your calling to help shape each life such as this.

Thanks for taking time to read my blog!

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