Big changes

I wish I could tell you there was some big scandal, but there is not. We, after 3 incredibly difficult years, are making a big change. We were unbelievably lucky to emerge from our tragedy with our son.  We were tired, worn out, numb. We were going through the motions. 10 years ago, Dave pursued a job as a Superintendent. He had quite a few interviews in some very nice communities. He was a finalist several times. Finally one day I said, “Maybe someone bigger is in control. Maybe this isn’t our time to move”. I believe with all my heart that I needed to be here for my mom, and the kids needed to be here to graduate with their childhood friends. They will always have their hometown of Paris. Absolutely no regrets. I said I was willing to move, and once when Jake was a baby, Dave accepted a job as assistant principal in a town 3 hours up the road. We were excited. Then we realized we were looking at homes like the ones in Paris, but triple the cost. We concluded we wouldn’t be able to afford to live there. We came home, and Paris was good to us. Dave has had wonderful opportunities in this town. Opportunities most would never have in education. We will always be forever grateful. Watching your child fight for his life and staying 100% dedicated to your job is no easy task. My husband did it well. The first cooperative high school and that beautiful complex north of town will forever have his name on it, and he should feel proud. He’s done a great job. Not everyone has always liked or agreed with all of the decisions that had to be made, but he and his boards worked diligently and honestly to put the best interest of the kids first and foremost. He still had that itch to fulfill that last goal of his educational career. He has done the job of Superintendent many years, but he didn’t officially hold the title. Director was a title he helped choose. I encouraged him to send out resumes this year. I even choose Morrisonville. I believe things happen for a reason when the timing is right. Jake had already signed a lease on his apartment in Terre Haute. He will start his class at Rose in July. He’s ready to spread his wings. My dad, whom I was most sad to tell, is very active and social. We talk on the phone everyday, and that won’t change. I became enchanted with Taylorville my first visit and was excited to make an offer on our house before Dave even had a chance to see it. It’s  a strong Catholic community, and my goal is to get back to church. Molly will only be 1 hour away. She has come to understand that won’t be too close; it may even have some advantages. My heart skipped a beat when I learned there was a science opening in Paris with no applicants. That feeling made me reach out to a small school near Taylorville that needs a science teacher. I will need the company of the students and the ability to interact, and let’s face it, talk all day since I won’t have my best friends with me. The thought of moving used to make me physically ill, but this has given me a burst of energy and excitement that we both needed.  No one is mad, there are not hard feelings, no scandal. It’s true that Dave still had a year left on his contract, but the board did not hold him to it. Like Mr. Zuber said, and Dave continues to say, “The one thing you can count on in education is change…”  We wish good things and continued success here in Paris- thank you!


It didn’t take long for us to notice her. She and her family were pretty close to my sister and me on the beach. I wonder what kind of cancer she has? Other than her bald head, she looked healthy. Do you think she’s pregnant? “Oh surely not.” Her daughter was barely a year old. “I bet they discovered she had breast cancer when she was pregnant. Hopefully she’s done with her treatments, and this is a celebratory vacation…” They seemed happy. “I will ask her if I get the chance.” Are you sure she would want to talk about it? “She does…” The next day, she got close enough for my sister to ask if she and the gal she was with were sisters. No. She came over and leaned over and explained their friendship. I spoke up, “This is our first time back to the beach in 3 years. My son had leukemia.” She sat down in the sand next to me. How old is he? How is he? That’s way too young! She took off her hat to show us her bald head. I’m not sure what she said first. We think she said it started as melanoma. How did you know something was wrong? After the birth of her daughter, Bentley, she had a numb spot on her inner knee. The doctor thought it was the after effect of her epidural. The cancer had already spread to her lungs. The first thing she asked her doctor, “Was it the diet Coke?” My sister and I acknowledged her anxiety, but we all knew now that it was a gene mutation. She had been given 3 to 6 months. She had outlived their predictions and was optimistic about a new drug she was taking. It targets the bad cells, but leaves the good ones alone. Their trip was only for the long holiday weekend because she had to get back for chemo. They found more tumors in the meninges. I knew that location too well. The tumors were in the lining of her brain and spinal cord. There is one large tumor wrapped around my spine and smaller tumors everywhere else. I have had radiation too, but this time it’s not bothered me. I have 3 good weeks, then a bad week with chemo. At that moment her husband was trying to convince Bentley to put her feet on the sand. Jenny started video taping it then seamlessly handed me her phone. I videotaped her holding her arms out, happily encouraging Bentley to walk on the sand. She thanked me for capturing it on tape. It became apparent that she was trying to record as many memories as possible. Later Molly, Jessica and Tori were sweet-talking Bently. Jenny begged them to stay out of tanning beds. She promised to pray for Jacob, and we promised the same for her. 

Good luck, Jenny and many prayers…