There really is no greater tragedy....of that I'm sure.

I ask my class the same question every year, as I’m sure most teachers do.   

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I ask that because I assume that they all will.

As a nation, we were all horrifyingly reminded that some youngsters, some young beautiful souls, never get that chance.

Over the holidays I managed to file this heartbreak into a place in my heart that made it manageable.  I didn’t want to forget the pain and sorrow felt by those personally touched in Newtown, but I knew that I needed to tuck the heartache somewhere in my heart to be able to return to some kind of normalcy.  I wanted to walk into my classroom and feel and act as if all was well.

And yesterday I received the call. 

“Vodka, this is Mr. Jones. (The principal of the school I had worked in for 22 years.) I know you had Steven Smith in kindergarten three years ago.  I wanted to call you to let you know …he passed away yesterday.”

He was 8 years old.

I can’t remember much of the rest of the conversation.  I remember something about a sudden illness, a Lifeflight situation, and a horrible tragedy.  I remember we both cried, and cried and cried.

I am crying again tonight for an incredible family.   I am weeping for a sweet, darling boy who told me that he wanted to be a soccer player when he grew up. 

I’m reminded, again, that some darling, beautiful souls don’t always get to grow up.  

 However, I’m pretty sure that he is playing soccer – in the most beautiful and glorious stadium of all.   

(r.i.p. my darling, darling boy.   r.i.p. )


Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

I am so very, very sorry.

Kristin said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your beautiful student. As a high school teacher, I have dealt with (and continue to hear) the loss of students too soon. It's a heartbreaking situation - and sometimes it won't let go.

Thank you for sharing this.

Brian Miller said...

oh....hugs...nothing will rip you up like the death of a child...gosh...you hate to even imagine it...

Japolina said...

I am so sorry VM. So sad.

A Speckled Trout said...

Oh, I am so sorry. Just today a friend told of a dream she had about her mother. Her mother has been gone a couple of years and in the dream she said to her daughter, "You think you know how big love is but you have no idea."

I will pray for all of you who loved him, while he is wrapped in a bigger love that the rest of us can only dream about.

The Bipolar Diva said...

that had to be such a terrible call to receive. I am so very sorry.

jennifer r said...

Condolences for you & all of the people mourning. <3 So sad, VM.

CLR said...

Oh my heart. This happened to me once. A dear precious boy that stole my heart and wore it daily, passed away a few years after I taught him due to a freak accident.

I went to visit him in the hospital while he was in a coma. I sat beside him and read his favorite book from back when he was with me, tears silently sliding down my face.

Hugs to you. Big, big hugs.

Maggie May said...

There is no greater tragedy. I'm so sorry.

Cora said...

So sad. My heart breaks for him, his family, and his little friends. It's just not fair.

Formerly known as Frau said...

I'm so sorry ((hugs)) I wish we lived in a world without the loss of children.

One crazed mommy said...

Oh my heart just broke for you and the family. Sending you hugs and saying a prayer for all who were touched by that sweet child. I have a 7 year old and 9 year old, and this hurts my heart - I can't imagine the pain for the family. Heaven gained a new angel way too soon.

The Girl Next Door said...

Sending you, the family, the friends and all those who ever knew (and those who missed the chance to know) the joy of knowing that lovely boy hugs, prayers and hope for peace. Can't find a way lately to tuck away all this sadness. Kudos to you for your strength and your determination to give your kids the best every day.

Gigi said...

Ugh - weeping away over here.

I don't even know the child in question and it breaks my heart. I can only imagine how you feel...how the family feels.

Sending you (and the family) much love and prayers.

SkylersDad said...

I am so sorry, there is nothing worse than the loss of a child. Unfortunately I am familiar with a lot of death in our special needs community.

ChiTown Girl said...

What a horrible, tragic loss. I'm so very sorry.


lisahgolden said...

Oh goodness. This is such hard stuff for all of you who knew him. Hugs to you.

Marissa said...

VM, I am so sorry to hear about this tragedy. It had to have been as hard for him to make that call as it was for you to receive it, but we are here to send you virtual hugs!

I will keep both you and the family in my prayers.

Mellodee said...

Children are not supposed to die. It is just the worst possible tragedy for a family. It impacts everyone around them. Makes no difference if it is caused by illness, accident, or something horrid....it always is hurtful and sad and the hardest thing any parent ever faces. I am so sorry to learn of your loss.

Unknown said...

I am so so sorry for your loss. You, Steven and his family will be in my prayers.

That Janie Girl said...

Oh, my girl. That is so sad. love you…and love you for loving him.

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