Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fly

Late last night I received one of those dreaded calls... You know, when the phone rings too late for the call to be anything but bad news? It was a teacher that I used to work with calling to tell me that one of my former students had passed away very suddenly. Tyler was only 17.  


Now it may seem strange that a teacher would be emotional about a student that she taught 6 years ago, but then you didn't know this particular class or this particular student. As a whole, the class was obnoxious, sarcastic, fun, crazy, and obsessed with my singleness, everything most first year teachers dread. But I loved it. I never had another class that was as tight knit or insane and missed it the rest of my years of teaching. Tyler was one of the instigators of the fun-a kid always ready for the next good joke or prank.  

Like I said, these kids were OBSESSED with the fact that I was single and would constantly beg to know more about my intriguing social life. At one point, I bribed them that if the whole class turned in their homework for an entire week, I would then reveal the name of the boy I was dating. Sadly, it worked. And then, not so sadly, the boy and I broke up. Not wanting to use the kids as therapists, I didn't mention the end of the relationship, until one day when a girl in the class asked if I thought I would marry the guy. I made some comment about pigs flying and continued on with the lesson. Later in the day I was summoned to the office to speak with a parent and left the class reading with the strict instruction to stay quiet. I still have no idea how they managed it, but I came back 15 minutes later to find the classroom covered in flying pigs. Literally. One of the students had drawn a pig, Tyler had snuck into the teacher's workroom, made a ton of copies of it and they had hung them by tape and string all over the ceiling, white board, doorways, EVERYWHERE.     Now, they told me, you can get married.   Very funny.


Apparently, Tyler's sense of humor never wavered.  He was a joyful kid and he continued that way through young adulthood.  I'm sad to hear of his passing, but so glad that I was able to be a part of his life for a short period of time.    I'm grateful to have the knowledge that this life isn't the end.  His testing period here on earth was over and there is more work for him to do with our Father in Heaven.   And I'm sure he's still pulling pranks....maybe even making pigs fly.

6 comments:

Veronica said...

Oh that is sooooo sad!! But so cool that you got to be part of his life.

j&krosser said...

Okay that post made me tear up and I don't even know the kid. Cute pigs flying story.

Amanda said...

How very sad! I'm sorry this has happened. What a fun story about the pigs. He must have been a really neat guy.

Melissa said...

I'm sorry to hear that Beth...I was just wondering if he was in the class I subbed, I think I may remember him...

Mandi said...

What a fun memeory of Tyler! As a teacher myself, I can understand how upsetting news like this would be.

Amanda said...

That's so sad!!! The flying pigs story was wonderful though.

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