Another summer has arrived in my life, another school year has ended, perspective rolls in once again. I am starting my fifth year as the educational technology director for the North Platte Public Schools. During that time we have gone through 2 superintendents and currently have an interim while we sort out who will be best to lead our instructional team in the future. Technology in the district has increased and improved, but we have much more to do.
Within this big picture view are some little things that have profound influence on quality of life. There are so many troubles out there in this big old world, and it is nice to have some tender mercies around to lighten the load. We got a puppy in the spring and had spent all the time and energy it takes to bring him along as a member of our family. We determined that the time was right and that we would have the summer to train him and enjoy him. School ended for my five children on May 18th and my wife followed the next day after wrapping up her school year as a speech-language pathologist. I have an extended contract that runs into July; so, I continue my service as we ready the district for a new school year.
On May 26th our dear, new friend Shadow was hit by a truck and we had to put him down. Needless to say, the Memorial Day weekend took on a whole new meaning and was not filled with happiness and joy. I grew up on a ranch in western Wyoming and have spent my life around animals. For me, I have seen them come and go, but there are always a special few. Shadow was one of them. My children and I have had a special opportunity to reflect on the short life of something that became important to our family. It has not been easy, but they are learning that it gets easier as each day passes. This learning is profound, meaningful, and lifelong. It will never be measured on a standardized test, and my children have learned more from this experience than an entire year of school will ever hope to bring.
We get in such a hurry in life that we forget to enjoy the things that are going on around us. Events, people, pets, our surroundings often slip by like the scenery we view in a speeding vehicle. We don’t notice, or cherish the little things, the special things, until they are sometimes taken away without a moment’s notice. This can be the summer that Shadow died, or it can be something else. I’m not sure what that something else is as of yet, but our family is searching.
I know a few that visit this blog from time to time, and your visits may be less because I post less. It is because I have been too busy living life and that’s okay. I hope you are all having a great summer, but if you are sad I can understand how you feel. Your sadness may be greater, more profound, and more serious. Take comfort in the fact that your sadness comes from the loss of joy. Remember the joy and get it back someway, somehow, as soon as you can. Goodbye Shadow. You brought my family true, honest, joy. Thank you.