Last Monday I walked into school and one of the secretaries was waiting by the door to talk to staff as they came in. One of the students had passed away over the weekend.
He was in my classroom this year and took his turn as one of my favorite students (all of the students are my favorites, but sometimes at different times). The student was medically - well, he didn't take solid food by mouth and had a permanent feeding tube. He had a lot of digestive problems and was totally deaf with a cochlear implant.
Two weeks ago he was fine. His mom kept him home from school on Thursday to have two wisdom teeth pulled. The autopsy results are not back yet, but all we know is that he got some sort of infection, it got into his digestive system (which has always been compromised) and within a couple of days he was gone.
This young man had two things going on. The first was ebay. Our students get a small check for piece work they do and he spent his on ebay. I took a trip last year and was in the town where ebay has their international headquarters. So I went and got my photo taken in front of the ebay sign and gave it to this student. He carried it everywhere! He would see me and say (in the stilted way of the deaf)..."Ellen...ebay...California...airplane...whoosh!"
The other thing was Coke. That was unfortunate because of the stomach issues, but it was calories that he had a hard time getting. After his funeral on Friday afternoon his family sent everybody home with a can of Coke in his memory.
There are no guarantees in life.
This student was adopted. We have a large percentage of students who are adopted - some of the families families thought they were going to get a perfect little child and couldn't (for a variety of reasons) gave the child they got for adoption. Other students were taken away from families because while babies should have a loving family, there are no guarantees.
But he was adopted into a loving family with three other children - also impaired.
It was a beautiful service and I will most likely write more on that later.