February 14th is traditionally known as Valentine’s day, a day to celebrate love in all its forms.  However, as poetic justice would have it, this year’s Valentine’s day also coincided with the first funeral I have had to attend for one of my students’ caregivers.

The funeral was sombre yet beautiful.  A celebration of a different kind of love.  A love lost.  A love reflecting past memories and an uncertain future.  A future this grieving family was not pondering just a few days ago.  Which got me thinking about the transience of life and the importance of savoring every moment.  It’s so cliche’ and coffee mug worthy I realize, and yet still for all it’s obvious simplicity something that I think many of us (myself included) never fully appreciate.

Then I also started reflecting on the importance of community.  Having a support network.  Someone to lend a helping hand in time of need.  It was beautiful how we all came together.  The students in my class were told what had happened, and they were so quick to be supportive and share messages of love and support.  Admin and fellow teachers were all eager help, and our parent community quickly rallied in support of the grieving family.  Truly a testament to the wonderful #ISKLProud community.

Finally, I was reminded yet again of the special bond that exists between teacher and student.  Yes, the traditional role is to educate but teachers and their classrooms are often much more than that.  They become a safe haven, a place to meet friends and laugh and have fun.  A place where you can find a trusted adult who will listen to you and talk things out.  And sometimes, unfortunately, someone who will help you grieve.  It is that bond that will live on long after the school year ends and for years and years to come.  So while the events that transpired on this Valentine’s day were unfortunate, I take solace in the fact that I am part of a great community, that I can make a difference everyday for each child in my classroom, and that I need to remind myself to stop, smell the roses, and be thankful for today.