I found myself outside your school yesterday. I had to sit in the car for several minutes before I could get out of the car. I shouldn't be in the parking lot, you should have been there, ready to start 4th grade. This big brick building filled with so many wonderful memories. You who loved school more than anything in life. You, who lit up the building with your entrance of bag packs, IPad, oxygen tank and suction machine. You who were always greeted by Mrs. Nerma or Mrs. Lindy to start your day of adventures. This was your happy place, not mine.
I lost it right at "I am here to return Jacob's IPad holder". I could see in the admin's face that she knew who I was, and she didn't know what to say or do. I couldn't hold back my tears. I just lost it right there. Your old school nurse came to the rescue. She quickly took the large stack of thank you cards from your memorial service as well as the IPad holder. She said to not worry, she would take care of it. I needed her to take charge, since I was a mess.
I had promised to visit with your favorite person, so I ventured down to Mrs. Pries' kindergarten classroom. This is where it all began for you four years ago. Mrs. Pries had a rough summer missing you in summer school every day. Did I tell you, she put out your name plate every day in summer school? So, in the middle of tears, I found the person who loves you so very much. We sat on the little kindergarten chairs, and talked about you. She put out her picture of you and Coach Mo. It was so good to sit with her, and remember you together. Mrs. Pries was getting ready for back-to-school night, so I so appreciate her taking time out of her busy day. I needed to remember you right there in her classroom.
I then went to see your Special Ed teacher. Your picture is framed as I get in to her classroom. Your lava project is hanging above your picture frame. This was the last project you did in school, and I know you worked so very hard to get it done in time. You did a great job presenting it to your whole class including showing them all how a volcano works. The lava picture above your beautiful school picture will remind them of you as they enter a new school year.
My sweet boy Jacob, this back-to-school business is so much harder than I thought it would be. But who was I kidding? You loved school more than anyone I know. This was your place to thrive, to be independent, and to have friends. You loved every second of school, and so did your friends. It was amazing to see how you always made friends by simply being you. I will never forget how you distracted the whole second grade by always using your talker when the teacher was trying to explain something to the class, and everyone turning to you to see what you just had said!I know you enjoyed every bit of attention.
Sweet Jacob, I will be in pain every time I see a school bus knowing you're not going to be traveling on one this year. I will mourn that there was never a 4th grade for you. I will feel every bit of the pain, and hoping that somewhere in all of this, there was a purpose and a learning, that I can't see right now. After all, you were always the biggest teacher in the classroom, learning the kids, therapists and teacher the real lessons of life.
I love you to the moon and back,