As I sit at my desk, I am finding it hard to talk about reminders and daily routines in this weekly communication. This morning I attended a funeral for a former student (age 27) who took his own life last week. He was always laughing, smiling, and talking, and he will be remembered that way forever. For those of you who know me well, you know I love these children like my own. I attended the viewing last night and saw many of my babies (all grown up). I want to take a minute and not be your child’s principal. I am still a counselor and a mother first and in my heart. I want to talk about mental health. During this pandemic, mental health issues, self-harm, and suicide rates have increased drastically. The statistics are staggering. I just want to remind everyone to simply be kind and gentle to one another and to love each other unconditionally. We are all fighting some battle. Nobody has a perfect life. Often it is those who smile the most and appear to have everything under control that are fighting the hardest. My student, Sean, was a handsome, intelligent, successful young man from a beautiful, close, and loving Catholic family. He wanted to live, love, and laugh. Suicide takes just a few seconds. It is not often something that is planned out. It is said that during the act, people often change their mind. Sometimes, it is simply too late.
So my message today is not one of death and darkness. It is a reminder to celebrate all of your blessings. I am so happy to be with your tiniest blessings every day. Today Third Grade spontaneously broke into dance at the conclusion of my gym class. They are amazing little humans. They made my entire day (the whole week actually) without even knowing it. It is my great pleasure to be with your children every day. I am so happy we are back in school. It has been a busy, exhausting, and great month back. Hug your family. Be kind to each other. Know your limits and never be afraid to ask for help. It is not a sign of weakness. Life is not always easy. We all need a little help sometimes.
You are loved and valued!
You are perfect just exactly as you are!
You are always enough!
You are doing a great job!
You are someone’s world!
I am here for each and every one of you. If you ever need someone to talk to, I am available 24/7. In my toughest times, I pray the Rosary to Mary. October is the month that we pray most often to the Blessed Mother. I gave a blessed Rosary to every student in our school. I mailed Rosaries home to our virtual learners. Praying the Rosary is calming. Try it at bedtime or to start your day. Please remember to take care of yourselves. Take time in your busy life to do something you enjoy. Surround yourself with as much love and laughter as you can.
I must end on a positive note. You should know that your children are very loving and kind. You are doing a fantastic job. I am in classrooms constantly and I have been spending recess, teacher breaks, and full gym classes with your children. I am fortunate to observe little random acts of kindness all day long. You should be very proud. This school is a loving family. The teachers model empathy and kindness. Your children have obviously learned from you (their first teachers) how to treat others. I have great hope for our future and the future of this world as these little ones grow up. They will be good and kind leaders. We need compassion and tolerance in our world, and I am certain this group will lead the way. Keep up the great work. To my homeschool moms and dads (and grandparents), you are doing an amazing job. Thank you for sticking with us digitally. I look forward to when we all can safely be in person again.
Two of Sean’s favorite quotes:
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” ~ Maya Angelou
“Only in darkness can you see the stars.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rest in peace now, Sean. Today is the Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels, celebrated as a Feast day in our church. How very appropriate!