grieving. still.

Some of you remember me talking about Trey a few years ago.  Trey was a student of mine in Savannah.  In the summer of 2006, he went to the beach with a group of friends.  Sadly, Trey drowned.  I couldn't go to the funeral because I was teaching summer school.  I went to the visitation.  It's very unnatural to see the lifeless body of a teenager.
I had just run into him a couple of weeks before...he wanted to be someone...

(L to R) Penn and Chelsea

A couple of days after my birthday this past March, news came of Penn's death.  Penn had cancer.  He was one of my Young Life kids from Savannah.  Penn knew his Maker.  That doesn't make his death any easier to deal with, but there's a lot more comfort.  As you can tell from the picture, he was the goofy type.  The very first night I met Penn he had me laughing.


A few weeks later there was a terrible car accident.  It claimed the life of Omar.  He was just 16.  I had taught him the year before as a 9th grader.  His smile says it all.  Gosh, I loved that smile!  We would go back and forth making fun of each other's mom, having, of course, never had met each other's mother.  It was around Easter. We all wore pink to the funeral because it was his favorite color (he was a cholo, so he was allowed to pick pink as his favorite color...)
I'll never forget his abuela at the funeral.  I've never heard a grownup cry like that....

(L to R) Zach and Zychias

This summer we've been all over the place.  A few weeks ago we were in Savannah.  I was watching the news with my mom and saw  a news report about a young man being shot and killed near the school where I used to teach.  The next day I found out that it was Zychias.  I taught Zychias and his brother, Zach, my very first year of teaching.  They were my first set of twins.  It was very clear to me from the start that Zychias was not on the right path in life.  Nevertheless, we'd talk and talk about music.
His body was found around 10 pm.  It had been dropped on the street for someone - anyone - to find.  Police think it was drug related.  The reporter from the newspaper put his name down as "Zachias."  When I contacted the reporter and asked him to fix the error, he said something about getting his info from the police....code for, "I don't really give a damn, and this is what the police gave me..."
It's now weeks later.  No one has been arrested.  And the newspaper continues to call him "Zachias"...

I've cried a lot today.  Mostly for Zychias.  Did he die instantly, or slowly?  Was he already dead when his body was dumped, or did he die there, alone?  How could someone so smart and FULL of potential end up like this??  I confess that I wasn't shocked at all that this is where his life ended.  That doesn't make it easier though.  This has been harder than the others.  I feel like there was no way to know that Trey, Penn, and Omar were going to die this way.  But Zychias... there are SO many what ifs.....

I love all teenagers on sight.  I love hard.  I doubt that Zychias, Omar, Penn, or Trey knew just how much they were loved.  Teaching English has always been secondary for me.  I just want my kids to feel loved.  Tomorrow begins my 8th school year.  No matter how it goes, I just want to love on kids.  I want kids to feel God's love through me.

1 say sos:

heather ryan morse said...

what a great mission...praying for you to do it only because of Him :)


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