There are not too many professions like teaching that really put you in touch with nearly every person in your community. When I say all, I mean the award winners, future politicians, business owners, bank robbers, rapists and murderers. I spent the pivotal years of my teaching career eating lunch with a great group of experienced teachers at Logan High School, that taught English. We often talked about these groups of people and their academic performances. Logan has experienced there fair share of tragedies. I often would ask about the people involved and if they had them in class. Because everyone takes English, at least one of them had taught them. We would often spend time discussing these criminals personalities, aptitude, and ability to get along with others. Of course I wanted to know if they could tell if the person would do the crime they had committed. We had some profound conversations, especially for a beginning teacher. Since half of this crew is retired, they have promised a book and I am still waiting to read that best seller.
With all of the media centered around the tragedy in Connecticut, it sure provokes some thinking. I would really enjoy a lunch time discussion with my English Department friends, to discuss some of these thoughts I have in my head.
However, tonight I am thinking about all of the special teachers that are in those trenches with the weight of the world on their shoulders to create the next and best generation of thinkers, innovators, and caring souls. That is a big job.
I also have been thinking about all of the parents that have presents wrapped and tagged for children they are now planning funerals for. As a parent of a kindergartner, I would not pretend to know that pain. I don't ever want to know what that feels like. Although I realize I am raising two of God's most precious girls, and that he can take them home whenever he wants. I believe we are raising them to be two wonderful, caring, smart, responsible and God loving adults.
There are two stories that I would share with parents that have lost their children, that I sure find to be very inspirational. The first is from a girl that I taught in class named Hannah, that was a true joy to be around. She was always happy and fun. In addition to being smart, she was taking on the world. BUT GOD . . . Her Mom however as you may guess is one amazing woman herself, you knew she would have to be to raise such a great girl. She dove head first into creating a voice for Hannah and a great cause. The non-profit she set up is called Hope Blooms. That is such an awesome name because out of all tragedy hope can bloom. I sure hope that from this Connecticut tragedy someone will have the motivation and drive to develop and carry out something wonderful for their loved ones.
The second story is also a tragedy of a mom losing her only child. I watched the entire NFR and found myself cheering for Barrel Racer, Mary Walker. The Amazing Mary Walker had a truly inspirational story coming into the finals for the first time. BUT GOD . . . She went on to win the World Champion Barrel Racer title this year. Her son's friend Tuff Cooper won the World Champion Tie Down Roping, he wrote this on Facebook after the televised award ceremony.
For those of you that watched the World Champions receive our awards I'd like to tell you all the story behind why it was so emotional for Trevor, Mary and I. Some people thought I was mad but I was only trying to hold back the tears. The story starts with Byron Walker and my Dad. The year that Roy and Byron won the World together they took a picture with their World champion saddles. Byron and Mary Walker's son Reagon and I High School rodeoed together. When Reagon and I won the Texas High School finals we took a picture together with our saddles and said the next picture we took would be when we won the world together just like our dads. Last year Reagon was in a car accident and went to be with the Lord. That was the year I won my first world title. Reagon and I never got the chance to get our picture taken.
My hope for the people involved in the Connecticut tragedy that they with the help of God, will be able to find peace and the determination to find their greatness after this terribly dark time in their lives.