Because I was helping with the logistics of Kate DiCamillo’s visit to our school yesterday, and the logistics included helping two groups of 1200 students from schools all over the area arrive and leave from our auditorium for both morning and afternoon presentations, I got to attend both presentations.
The presentations were essentially the same. Kate talked about her journey as a writer. I soaked up her words. Listening to her thoughts about writing right in the middle of the slice of life challenge month was incredibly energizing.
One of the things she said during her second presentation was that she has a writing teacher. Kate DiCamillo has a writing teacher? Now? Wow. And she told the audience that her writing teacher once said, “Write about what haunts you.”
That line, “Write about what haunts you,” has been rolling around in my brain since yesterday afternoon. I read back through some of my blog posts last night. Yup, I have sometimes written around the edges of what haunts me.
And right now I want to write about something our school community is wrestling with. I won’t write in detail about it here. It feels more private than that. But I would like to tell my SOL community that we lost the husband of a longtime faculty member. He was young. He has young daughters and a wife with whom he was deeply in love. And he had no time. Two weeks ago he wasn’t feeling well. A week and a half ago he got a difficult diagnosis. He died Thursday night.
We’ve had our share of heartbreak in our school community over the last few years. We will get through this, just as we’ve gotten through other tough times. In many ways, we are at our best during times like this. Our school community of almost 900 students and 100 plus faculty and staff becomes a family. Each tragedy we’ve endured has strengthened us. But for now, we are raw and sad. And this loss haunts us.