One of the things I've realized as a long-term teacher (meaning that I end up being involved in kids' lives in some fashion for much of their education as opposed to a year or two) is that I become a "memory keeper" in some respects. Sometimes it's simple things...fun stories, lessons they've learned, perspectives on experiences that have shaped them. Other times it's bigger...the painful things, the tough challenges...being a witness in those moments.
I have a kiddo graduating this year for whom I've been a bit of a "memory keeper". Knowing his dad whom he lost at such a young age...and watching him grow and develop (in the 11 years since) into a wonderful young man. So, over the years, I've tried to celebrate his dad...the funny things, what his dad loved about his mom, the convictions...how much his sons were the pride of his life.
The last conversation I had with his dad was about his desire for his sons to know Jesus and to be educated right alongside kids from other denominations. "It's all about Jesus. Right, Sarah?"...
But today...well...I guess I'm wondering if I did a good job keeping the memories.
Sigh...lots to celebrate...but you know...one of those moments.