Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Just needing to process

There is no rhyme or reason to this post.  There is just a lot going on and I need to process it.  Blogging is my way of doing that at times.  Feel free to skip this post!

So earlier today my Mom called and we were chatting and she said "Did I tell you that Fr. Smith's (not his real last name) father died?"  Um- nope forgot to mention that.  So I asked if she was going to the visitation with my dad or if the two of us would go.  Fr. Smith is a beloved friend to everyone in my family, especially Princess Bear (PB).  She said that they'd go and then come home to watch PB so I could go.  Ok that works too.  Now a bit of back story.  Peoria is a town of a bit more than 116,000 people.  That said it often feels like it's a town of 116 people because everyone knows everyone else.  It has its good and bad as far as it goes.  Fr. Smith is 1 of 5 children.  His father was a teacher that taught at 2 local high schools as well as 2 local colleges.  As I was waiting to pay my respects tonight I realized that pretty much anyone in this town could play the 6 degrees of the Smith family.  Here are my 6 degrees of the Smith family:
- I had Mr. Smith for a government class when I was taking some college courses debating what I wanted to do when I grow up.  It was one of the best damn classes I've ever taken.  If everyone had that class there would be no such thing as a low information voter.  The man knew how to teach a great government class!
- I had Danny Smith as a teacher when I was in college.  He used to charge a quarter any time you came to class unprepared or if you let a swear word slip.  I gave him many, many, many quarters.  He saved the money by class.  My class opted to have a party complete with a seafood platter.  Yeah- I paid for a big portion of that thing!
-Fr. Smith.  Everyone in my immediate family got to know him when he worked in my mom's department.  I can't tell you how many ER visits with PB that he sat there and held my hand and prayed with me.  Ditto for hospital stays.  I'm fairly certain when it comes time for PB to make her Confirmation that she'll ask Fr. Smith to be her sponsor. 
-The priests at moms work all live in a house that happens to have a great view for the annual fireworks display.  Fr. Smith always invited his sisters family and my family.  So I got to know his sister casually then.
-He has another sister that I know from our Church.  PB has a bit of an issue with getting or receiving hugs.  This sister is one of the people that PB lets hug her and she doesn't react negatively. 

See what I mean by small world?  I'm far from the only one that can play the how do you know the Smith family.  When I pulled into the parking lot for the visitation it looked like a regular Sunday mass was taking place.  It took over 1.5 hours from the time I got there until I was able to pay my condolences to the family.  My parents had a similar wait. 

Just before my parents were leaving for the visitation I went on Facebook to see what was happening with our local public school superintendent.  She was possible going to be fired tomorrow.  First thing I see on my board is my friend Stephanie saying that her heart is broken and can never be fixed.  I read on to find out that her son passed away this morning.  In another case of it's a small town I got to know Stephanie after her twins were born.  One twin died shortly after birth and Jr was a special needs kiddo that had serious health issues.  She was part of the parents support group that I led for awhile.  My mom knows her husband because they used to work together.  Jr's death was completely unexpected in that he hadn't been in the hospital lately and had been doing well.  I'm still not sure what happened by my heart is breaking for them.  I can't imagine the pain of losing 2 children.  They have a little girl that was so very devoted to her big brother.  She always shared the cutest photos of them and my heart breaks for this little girl too. 

Now there was a rose among the thorns of my day.  I mentioned that there was a chance that our local school districts superintendent was going to be fired.  She truly deserved to be fired.  She did absolutely nothing positive for the school district and always tried passing the buck.  I had limited dealings with her but have certainly dealt with the school system on a regular basis.  Instead of getting fired the superintendent decided to quit.  I was waiting at the visitation and got 3 different texts about it.  None of them from local public school parents.  Just friends who know how lousy this district is and how much I've had to fight for things for PB that shouldn't be fighting issues.  I'd like to wish the woman well on wherever she goes but frankly that's just mean of me.  If there is justice she won't be working in any sort of capacity that deals with the education of children.  She is just that bad.  So yes I'm beyond thrilled that she quit. 

Like I said not a lot to be made sense of from this post.  Just needing to get things out.  Feeling so bad for a friend who lost his father.  Feeling awful for a friend that is going to be burying their child.  That is a horror that no parent should experience.  I'm going to sign off for now and try to lose myself if a good book!

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