You know, this week I've wondered about giving thanks. I've thought about the 10 lepers that were healed and how only one comes back to give thanks. I think that people who are truly thankful are the best people on earth. They realize their position on earth and how each person contributes to their well being.
I was sure they'd mention Drew at graduation. The guy has slaved for that school for TEN years, and is now being kicked out through no fault of his own, or him wanting to leave. Going to girls and boys basketball games, staying late nights, helping kids who otherwise would've ended-up being problem children. Being on teams to improve the school, allowing the kids a safe place to be.
And last night he got a "good luck" in passing from the superintendent. Literally, that is all.
The school has at least 3 farewell assemblies, they easily could have mentioned him and said how much they appreciate them, but they didn't.
And while I don't have an audience of people who went to that school I'd like to give 10 things -- one for each year he was here -- that Drew has done amazingly well at that school... because he has. Maybe I can make up a little bit for their lack of thoughtfulness.
1. Drew came here to a program that was dead. He worked hard to revitalize it, be friends with the kids, MAKE them want to build the program. And they did just that. We have such fond memories of many of the kids that were here when we first came. We feel like they were builders along with him, and sometimes it surprises us how close to our age they are!
2. Drew build relationships with outside organizations. Drew allows several outside organizations to use the band room, often at his own efforts of getting them the keys or setting things up for them. In doing so they have built friendships with those organizations that have enhanced the program. He lets the local wind symphony use the building, because they then judge the solo and ensemble, and provide free tickets to kids so they can do concert reviews with no cost to them.
3. Drew loves music. He has been a member of the local trombone choir for years (sometimes over my dead body). It's great way to show that you can include music in your life after school, even if music isn't your chosen major.
4. He loves all of them. Ok, maybe not all of them. But I am consistently amazed how Drew's love turns those kids around. Kids that you thought could easily be in a jail cell right now are actually being productive members of society -- because of Drew. He often gave kids the benefit of the doubt with amazing results. I wish I could be more like him in this instance.
5. He has very little to work with. He considers so carefully how to use his funds since there is very little of them. He is always looking for a way to get the best "bang for his buck". When he came back from the AZ interview he was so excited to tell me of all the budget money he'd have. Who knew? Schools with budgets? Amazing!
6. He's taken the band to the people. Drew started an elementary tour and he brought music to many kids in the district because of that. It helps build a sense of community in those kids that they want to get to the high school and be cool like those kids. Very cool.
7. He's taken the band all over. He's at the nursing home with the strings, he's at the local home tour with the choir, he's playing for the rotary club with the band. He's truly woven the band into the community with his extra efforts.
8. Ireland. How would you feel going on a 10 day tour the day after they laid you off? Drew did it, and he did it without the drama of the fact that he would be leaving. They all had an amazing time, but I know it was hard for him to concentrate on the kids and their experience, instead of what was going on with him personally.
9. He's brought them into our lives. Our kids love those kids, and they've had amazing examples in so many of them. I think the band loved Drew more because they saw him as a father and a husband. They knew our whole family was behind them. And we are. :)
10. He loves them. I am fairly sure he loves a few of them more then me (ok, maybe not... but if you took a proportion of time he spends with them....). He worries about their worries, he gets excited when they're making good decisions, he truly forms relationships with all of them. He hates graduation, to see some of his favorites fly... but they always come back.
And I guess that is where it ends. Drew has made a difference, and he knows that and no talk of thanks is going to change that or enhance it. I'm so thankful for a husband who loves his job and works hard at it. You are amazing! I love you!