Went to a funeral today. This has been a year of ups and downs beginning with the death of my father and ending with the death of a coworker’s husband. The funeral brought back many memories of my father’s funeral. My heart breaks for my coworker, her daughter, but particularly for her 14 yr old son.
On the upside, I’ve renewed my passion for teaching high-risk students after really feeling frustrated at the beginning of the year. All thanks to a student from last semesterwho reminded me of the problems they face daily and the compassion, the structure, and the championing they need from teachers. I was reminded that my problems pale in comparison to some of the things they have encountered in their young lives. I do not envy them, I do not pity them. I respect them. My dad taught me to be fair, to be compassionate, and to be kind. That’s what we all want: to be treated with fairness, kindness, and compassion. It’s his legacy. I can only hope to fulfill it and live up to it.#YouMatter #YouHaveAPurpose #YouAreNotAnAccident
I was watching a documentary on the Israeli raid on Entebbe and they were interviewing the operators on the raid. One of them said that when he returned he saw his father. His father had lost his entire family in the Holocaust and had been in Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp himself. He told his father that, “…we are now able to rescue Jews around the world and this is something that Jews had been unable to do when my father and his family needed rescuing.” He concluded by saying, “My father said, ‘you’ve done well.’ He was proud.”
Here’s a guy who had taken part in one of the most successful rescue operations in the history of the world and what he was most happy about was that his father was proud of him. I connected with the man because of that. As men, we look for the recognition of our fathers and want to make them proud. It made me recall my last conversation with my father.
The last conversation I had with my father went something like this on the phone about a week before he passed away. I don’t remember the entire specific conversation, but I recall two snippets of the talk and it went something like this:
“Dad, you do what you need to do.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Well, if the pain is too much and you need to go, I understand.”
“Eric, I don’t even know what that means.”
“Then don’t worry about it.”
“Dad, I love you. I always have and I always will.”
(I hear him kind of laugh)
“Eric, I’ve know that my entire life. I love you too.”
I spoke with him often once I got to his house before he passed away. But he was unable to respond except in half-smiles and eyes of recognition. In retrospect, I think dad knew what I meant, but I don’t think he knew how to quit or give up.
One of the reasons I include this on my blog is because I don’t want to forget this conversation. I have a horrible memory. I want to be able to tell my kids this information when I’m old, just as my father told me his last talks with his father.
I don’t know where this came from or who wrote it originally. If you know, please let me know so I can give proper credit. I found this in the first school I taught at in (of all places) the bathroom. But they are true statements. If we can be proactive as teachers in these areas and answer them before they arise, most misbehavior in classrooms will simply disappear.