Im sure he knew he was loved. But no one can quite understand that amount until someone passes too early. All day on facebook I have seen status updates from all different circles and grades about what an amazing teacher he was. How many lives he changed and how he will be greatly missed. I can say there has never been a teacher quite unique. Sure some other teachers had elaborately decorated classrooms, maybe another has had coffee for watching the news. But rules that you were to bring treats for the whole class the next day if you were late. That was all his own. He even allowed you to skip class as long as you came to him first to get the days work. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t done it myself on a particular bad day. Leaving the last ten minutes of class open so you could choose to do the day’s homework, or sit and talk with your friends. Little things that don’t sound like much, but changed my entire look at school. After my first class with him I brought my grades up, not only his class but all my classes. Just barely missing graduating with honors. All because of his positive teaching style. And I was not alone in that. He inspired so many. And that is why when I got a message about his passing this afternoon I cried for wonderful man the world had just lost.
This past December I got to write him a little note to tell him these things. My high school had a donation set up for his family and along with that you could include a small letter to be delivered to him later that month. I was there on one of the last days, so I saw that it was getting to be a full box. Such a loved teacher. I wish I could have seen him again in person since its been 4 years since we last talked. But at least I did get to say goodbye in some way. And I am so grateful for that.
Today my heart is with his family as they grieve the amazing husband and father we all know he was. Truly another bright light gone too soon. People this week keep telling me they are amazed at how strong I am being about Sawyers Diagnosis. And again I have to say, it is because it could be so much worse. I get to love this little one for many years to come. And while we will have one bad month, that is nothing compared to what Mr. Hollings family will deal with for the years ahead. You all have asked if there is anything that you can do. Love the ones in your life every day. Too often we let the little things bother us and lose precious time with loved ones. Let things go and hug someone close tonight. For those who can’t anymore.
Thank you for being the most inspirational teacher I ever had. You truly will be missed by many.