Trials, temptations, disappointments -- all these are helps instead of hindrances, if one uses them rightly. They not only test the fibre of a character, but strengthen it. Every conquered temptation represents a new fund of moral energy. Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before.
-- James Buckham
I guess I am hoping that strengthening is true tonight. What can I possibly say? How will I keep from crying while I do it?
The superintendent's wife just called me with the news that we would be holding an emergency teacher's meeting 15 minutes before the normal start of school.
We have to decide how to help the students deal with a tragedy that occurred over the weekend. One of my students and her father were killed in an automobile accident. Not in a busy intersection -- on a road crossing that is nearly always the kind where you can count one car, then the next, as they pass you in the other lane, maybe getting to five before you hit the crossroads where it joins a bigger road.
I was too stunned to ask anything about how it could have happened at such an untraveled spot. In truth, I don't think I am up to dealing with the details.
We have to deal with our own grief first. This young girl was a bright and talented freshman. She was good looking, upbeat, charming, and had just in the last few weeks moved her seat to be beside one of the nicer young men in the school. Each morning, she would tell me how the speech contest went, etc. and before others came in, I would inquire if her ploy was yielding results yet, Laughing with her as she gave me her enthusiastic version of events. He was now talking to her more, not oblivious to her as before... He's one of my special favorites, as was his father before him.
It is a small class. A close class. Now one fewer. I certainly hope they have a GOOD PLAN for us to follow, as I get to do it first. She was in my room first hour. I'm still numb. As we as a nation mourn our war dead, shuddering as the bombs drop, here is yet another vital young life senselessly wiped out. Whatever will we say to them?