As I looked around I realized I didn't know much about this family. I really pride myself on how much I know about the kids in our school. Our whole staff does. We know where students are from, who their siblings are, and the various situations their families may have. There are a lot of situations when you have a population that represents over 40 countries, many languages, and who are often struggling economically. But I didn't know this student. I didn't realize her grandmother, grieving so quietly in the pew and her now deceased father were from Torino, Italy. That her mother was from Sicily. I didn't know many of the people in the room, only the teachers and realized this family had a lot of life outside our school. How did I miss knowing this little fifth grade girl who bravely came to school the day after her father died so she could have classmates and a teacher who loved her nearby? Was she new? I didn't know her father was diagnosed with cancer last Father's Day when he died on his birthday.
I stopped at the display of family photos on the way out sorry this was the only way I had for the moment to get to know them all a little better.