Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I Was Born And Raised Here.

I got it made here. 

As with any big event, I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember where I was when I found out. I remember the emotions that went through me. I remember where I was when I actually realized what had happened.

I was completing my fourth week of student teaching at OLM in Rio de Janiero, Brazil and had just begun packing up to go to lunch. My roommate walked in my classroom, just as she did every day, so that we could walk to lunch together. But that day she asked if I had ever heard of a town named Chardon. Of course I had, I grew up there. My heart would forever left in that sleepy, little town. 

I knew something was wrong just by looking at her eyes. And I nervously laughed when she told me that there was a shooting at the high school. I accidentally left my cell phone at home that day and thought that I could make it through the rest of the day without going home to get it.

Fast forward twenty minutes and I realized mid-bite that I HAD to go home and get my cell phone. I didn't have any messages. Nor could I get a hold of my mother, father, brother, or sister. (I hadn't discovered the magic that is MagicJack yet, so I was relying solely on texting.) Where were they? Was my brother okay? What in the world was happening?

I called my best friend and hysterically asked him to call my parents or my siblings and then call me back as soon as he knew everything. He called me back at about the same time as I received texts from my parents. My brother was okay, everyone was okay.

Two years later and I'm not sure that everyone is okay. Physically? Yes. Emotionally? Doubtful. 

CBS' 60 Minutes aired a special about the shooting and Coach Hall tonight. I sat on my coffee table and sobbed. I sobbed to see the snowy streets of the town that will always be my home. I sobbed when I saw my teachers, my school, the hallways that I walked down every single day. I sobbed when I saw my brother. I sobbed when they showed Coach Hall's first Lakeside versus Chardon football game where the Chardon students rolled out a "We Love You, Coach Hall" sign.

It's likely that I will be posting about this every February 27th from now on. But it's worth repeating.

That's my town. Those are my teachers. That's my family.

And while my mailing address might currently be Siguatepeque, Honduras, but home will always be in Chardon, Ohio. To show their support for their favorite English teacher and the town that raised her, Grade 1 and 2 came to school sportin' their red on February 27.

Two towns. One heartbeat.

1 comment:

  1. I just got chills reading that, shows how special home will always be no matter how far away you are. :)