I met my husband in the spring of 1991, because some teachers at the local elementary school thought he was an amazing single dad, and they helped us meet. When we married, all of the faculty and staff were in attendance, they were some of the first people to visit us at the local hospital when Sam and Ben were born, and when Sam died, they were with us immediately. The spring after his death, they dedicated a buddy bench to him on the playground, knowing how much he loved that school community, and how much he loved sitting on a bench and talking with new people. When my mom broke her leg last year, they were the first non-family members there to visit her.
Keeping in mind that I met most of them in 1976, we have a lot of years together. There have been marriages and divorces, births and deaths, ups and downs, and through it all, that little school community has stayed together as a family.
Yesterday, one of the teachers got married. When we got there, we walked in to hear a chorus of “over here,” and we joined the “Leicester School Section” We sat together for the beautiful ceremony, then sat together for the reception. We laughed, we cried, we talked, we remembered and we celebrated. We ranged in age from 83 to 19, then joined by the grandchildren of the bride, bringing the age range to 83 to 2.
At one point, all of the current and former members of the Leicester School faculty and staff were out of the dance floor with many of their daughters and our brave son, dancing with streamers and ribbons, laughing, just enjoying being together. Again, the age range was 2-83. It was a beautiful site — love that goes beyond blood, goes beyond age, goes beyond political beliefs or anything else.
Plain and simple, it was Leicester School love, and I am so very thankful that community has been a part of my life for all these years.