I am just getting home from a funeral for one of my former students. He was such a fine young man. If baby grew up to be like this young man, I would openly weep. His name was Ricky, and he had the finest heart and a smile that put you on fire. Losing anyone is difficult. Losing someone who is so young, so vibrant, so radiant is humbling and unrattling and heartbreaking. When you teach or work in education, the joy of it is that you get to fall in love over and over and over again with your students. I don’t even pretend that I am more in love with the subject matter that I teach than I am my students, because it’s not true. What I love about teaching is my students. Watching them grow and consider and share and be and try and laugh and smile and cry. That’s why I teach. And so losing Ricky hurts like nobody’s business. I’m wearing it these days. My light’s out, my heart is heavy. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think it’s important to feel what we feel, be honest about it, and not just brush it away. And I think it’s important that we move forward with the awareness those feelings bring us. I’m remembering what a pleasure, what a gift it is to have known and loved Ricky and honoring a life that was incredibly well lived.