The Main Thing.

I woke up early (again) on a Saturday. After banishing my reverend to the bedroom so I could have some alone time in the living room, I seized the early morning to catch up on Facebook. Who’d have thought life would get so busy I could actually get behind on Facebook?

There seems to be an existential theme this morning. The first post I checked on was a heart breaking story of young Camille Gregory who died four days after receiving her grad diploma from UBC. View a bit of her story at Living Out A Dream. Such a courageous young woman. So committed to finishing well.

Through tear-filled eyes I clicked over to a newer fb page started to encourage a well-loved, now retired teacher from Vernon, BC. Mr. Bob Advent taught for many years and is respected by all who know him. Mr. Advent is fighting brain cancer. His former students have set up this page Keep Fighting Bob Advent to encourage him in his battle.

Cancer is no respecter of age; the stories continued. A boy, 15-year-old Jordan Unrau from Kelowna passed away this week after an 11 month intense battle with cancer. I don’t know Jordan, but learned about him from a friend on Facebook. What struck me this morning was Jordan’s desire to return to school this last September. Here is his mom’s entry and her thoughts…Wondering in Wee Hours. This blog is hard to read. It’s extremely personal. It outlines the battle, the fight, the raw emotion and strong belief/faith that binds this family.

A commonality in these three lives is education. Camille was determined to graduate; Mr. Advent, the teacher, touched many lives. Those lives are fighting hard to encourage him…to pay it back in any way they can; and Jordan – he’s now gone from this earth, but his desire, in the midst of deep pain, was to get back to school. To be normal, to walk the halls, to learn, to play, to be with friends.

Hitting me square in my heart is that this job I have… educator, counsellor, now administrator does have impact. We touch people. We impact lives. It comes back to human interactions. Whether it’s via technology or face to face, it’s about relationship. So then, how am I am feeding my soul in order to remain grounded – at least most of the time? Make no mistake, we must be grounded, we must work towards personal congruence or we will crash and burn when faced with the myriad of  souls that cross our paths.

I’m left with a sorrow mixed with hope. We do make a difference. We may not be in the business of saving lives, but we can pour hope and purpose into lives that are struggling.

As we enter into the season of Christmas; of Advent…how appropriate it would be to lean into new beginnings…to move forward…to bring freshness and joy to our schools.

Once again, I find myself with more questions than answers. Kind of like the rest of the students.

Until next time take care,


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