Today is the first day of the Easter holidays. Two weeks of…freedom?
The last week at school was very difficult. What I thought was going to be a relaxing boat ride until the end of term, turned into a traumatic marathon.
On Tuesday, I received the news that one of my boys had passed. He suffered a cardiac arrest while he was asleep. He went to sleep on Monday night and didn’t wake up.
Nana was one of my babies. He had a kind soul, was always smiling and was very humble. I had been his form tutor while he was in Years 9 and 10 and was also his English teacher in Year 9. He would have currently been in Year 11.
I always told the boys in my form that they were my school sons. I used to tell them that I am their school mum. “If there is any trouble, come to me.”
One day, there was a student trying to attack Nana. Nana ran towards my classroom for protection. The student pushed me out of the way to get to Nana…he was that determined. But I was determined not to let him get to Nana. Due to Nana’s nature, I knew that he wasn’t the instigator. First the boy tried to get Nana and then he pushed me out of the way to get to Nana. Nah mate! The boy was permanently excluded after the statement I wrote.
The boys in my form took my ‘in loco parentis’ role seriously. Some were cheeky with it. One asked me for pocket money and said, “But you’re my school mum.” Haha! The boys in my form were like brothers. I wanted us all to support and look out for each other. And we did!
When Nana got to Year 11, I barely spoke to him. I abandoned him. Last Thursday, one of my Year 11 students mentioned him, with regards to how great he was at football and I vowed to go and check in on him – even though he was no longer in my form. I was always “too busy”. I never got the chance.
The day I heard about Nana’s passing I had to teach lesson after lesson. I even found myself having to break the news to one of my Year 9 classes. One of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I didn’t get a moment to process the information. I was hurting but had to try to stay strong for the boys.
Friday arrived and we had a memorial assembly for him. All I kept on thinking about was how I had abandoned him in Year 11. I can’t remember the last time I spoke to him.
The pain I have been feeling over the is indescribable. I wish I hadn’t abandoned him. I wish I checked in on him. I wish I had a chance to say goodbye.
RIP Nana. W5 forever!