Sunday, June 19, 2011


Okay, so now it looks like I got a bum deal on my third solo car purchase.  It appears that the transmission has completely died on my "new-to-me" car that I have official owned "as-is, no warranty" for 16 days.  Lexus of Knoxville estimates the cost to fix it at $5003.86.  Nice, huh?  Yeah, I thought so too.  But hey, it's just a car. 

God has been reminding me all week how blessed I am!  I have the most incredible children in the world, each one unique and delightful in ways I can't begin to count.  My husband is working his tail end off to make life better for us.  My sisters and my parents are all in town, healthy and supportive of my crazy dreams!  We love each other more than words can say.  My roof doesn't leak and my belly is full.  My friends are the best I could ever hope for - so what if I have a little car trouble...okay, A LOT of car trouble?!

After the tragic news about the passing away of Addie's 5th grade classmate, I received some horrible news about one of my former 8th grade students.  Tyler Bradley passed away unexpectedly last Wednesday.  He was only 19 years old.  Tyler was one of my favorite students.  When I had him, he lived for girls and football - not necessarily in that order!  He always had a mischievious grin on his face and a little "rascal" twinkle in his eye.  Yet just beneath the surface was a little boy who longed to be loved and accepted.  Sometimes he tried a little too hard to be funny; he said things that come out wrong sometimes and several of his peers found him arrogant or cocky, but all it was was his heart's desire to be loved. 

I remember that on the last day of eighth grade, Tyler picked up a pair of scissors and cut off a lock of his curly brown hair and told me I'd better keep it forever because he was "gonna be somebody" someday.  Then what happened?

How could a young man with so much going for him find himself without hope?  How could he get so far off track that he saw no other option than to take his own life?  Was there anything I, or anyone else, could have done to prevent him from making the decision to permanently stop his suffering? 

God, give me eyes to see and ears to hear what You see and what You hear!  Use me in this world to reach out to lost and hurting people, especially those who try to hide their pain.  Grant comfort to his family- to his mother and brother.   Use his life to make a positive difference in the lives of those he left behind.

Thank you for Tyler.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be his teacher.  Help me to be a better teacher for knowing him.

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