I missed you the last couple days. Where have you been?
“Oh my father died.”
What? Really? Your biological dad?
Then I ask a question that I am sure teachers at schools like mine would understand.
Did he live with you?
Well what are you doing here? You can stay home as long as you need.
“Yeah, I know. But I need to be strong.”
My heart empties in pain. I step outside and shut the door to read the obituary he handed to me. Christian. Loving son, brother, and father. College graduate. Financial counselor. War veteran. Buried in a veteran’s cemetary. My knees buckle as I gaze upon the face of my student’s namesake and the one who had instilled such strength and resolve, even with his dying breaths.
Sometimes, it’s the students that teach their teachers some of the most important things in life that no one teaches in classrooms.