Remembering a Brother at a Sad Time

This was an email I sent to my colleagues at school, I thought it was appropriate to post.

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rick1This time of year is always one when we stop to give thanks, and truth be told, I am usually most happy about the time we have off and give thanks for the time to refresh and recharge.  While that is important, this year I have been reminded in a very painful way that life is fleeting and much too short.  We have much to be thankful for, wherever and whomever we are.

The economy is bad, job losses are coming at SJ, things in Washington are tenuous and of course we have to write those darn content and language objectives (ha, ha).  But in the midst of all this, we truly have much to be thankful for.  A beautiful school in which to teach, colleagues that are professional, caring, enthusiastic and dedicated to their task to teach and impact young lives. Administration that allows us to teach the kids the way we deem most effective and more importantly affective.  And of course we have students who daily drive us to distraction, frustration, anger, fear, worry, joy, laughter, amazement, and complete surprise at some of the things the say and do, they are always, if nothing else, a source of endless energy.

Almost all of us are blessed with family as well, and they probably evoke the same sort of feelings in us as our students do, but it is in family and friends where we find our most satisfying place in this world.  I was reminded of that on Monday as I lost my beautiful brother.  I wish I would have been in closer contact with him, wish I would have called him one last time, wished . . . you fill in the blank, chances are good you have felt the same way about someone close to you.

On Friday I am going to head North to Denver, Colorado and bury a man that died much too early for me.  We will say nice things about him, praise him, mourn his loss, grieve deeply, cry, ask God why and I hope we will laugh as we remember our times together.  My only wish was that I would have done this last year, or the year before when he was still able to hear my voice and see the love in my eyes.  But I didn’t, I am thankful for the time I had, but how I wish I would have been more thankful while he was with us.

Don’t miss an opportunity to love those God has placed in your lives this Thanksgiving; eat well this thanksgiving, but soak up the love of each other! That is what we have to be truly thankful for! And if you don’t have someone, find someone who needs you, there so many out there who would love to be “adopted” just like Rick was.

Missy and I want to say thanks so much for all of the kind comments in the hallway, emails and of course your prayers, it has meant so much.  There has been a memorial site set up for Rick, www.rickcourchene.com check it out if you have time, thanks again and on behalf of the Freese family, have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.fire1

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Todd