I've been gone for a while now. I guess I don't even know if I'm really back, but I need to write this. There is a point where it all just needs to be there, in front of me, so I can face it.

I received a call from the number tree not so long ago. Calls coming down the number tree are usually never good. I listened and prepared to write down all of the information to tell the next person I needed to call. Then I froze. "There was an accident tonight. There were two students involved. One was killed instantly." I waited for the names and felt sick when I heard them. I knew the name of the student who had passed away.

He was one of my students. The kid I could always count on to stick up for the students who needed help. He made sure everyone had a partner and worked so hard. This young man radiated joy.

and i threw a pot of boiling vegetables into the sink and cried. someone else continued the tree. i went to the school and supported the kids. cried the whole time. what will we all do with that empty desk?

Before I started teaching, I believed that teachers had all the answers. I didn't have an answer for the students who came to my classroom. I still don't. I've tried to be honest with my students. When they've needed a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on, I've tried to be there. I still feel helpless.

We've carried on with our lessons. Sometimes the kids will bring up memories that make us all laugh. Bittersweet laughter, but we're laughing. I know he can hear us.

We remember.