Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Inspirational Facebook Group No One Wanted to Create (A Mama Kat Writing Prompt)

ThMama Kat's writing prompt I ended up with this week is "What inspired you this week?" It is hard to choose just one thing.

I got to see Nick earn his completion certificate from the Tallahassee Teen Challenge Men's Program. He shared his testimony in this post about Teen Challenge's Car Care Program. I met his wife, his sister, and a faith community that has helped him turn his life around.


I read "Highest Duty," a biography by Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, the USAir pilot who "landed" his disabled plane in the Hudson River after a flock of birds caused both engines to quit. One of the personal effects returned to him once the contents of the plane were delivered to their rightful owners was a fortune cookie fortune he always carried with him: Delay is better than disaster. No kidding.

The ultimate inspiration from the week points out how you don't have to have a lot of years on you to know how to come together and support each other when a community has a loss. Nathan White, who was the band director at my son's middle school, Montford Middle, died suddenly of a heart attack at age 47. I am embarrassed to say that although he and I lived only a mile apart in the same neighborhood and our children went to the same school, we had never met. I had met his wife, Ginger, when I used to be at the bus stop in the mornings. I met his kids at the bus stop. He had always left for work prior to bus stop time since he was a teacher. I still regret that we never connected. I drive past his house every single time I enter or leave our neighborhood.

When he died, I asked to join the Facebook group that his former and current students had created. The main creator is a ninth grader now, and she is a young lady I have known since she was a cute little kindergartner. I have watched her grow into an articulate, empathic young woman who is a stellar big sister to two very young little girls. I watched the kids talk among themselves on Facebook, sharing philosophy:

I think this is just a lesson, to cherish every moment we have with everybody, even if we don't like them that much. Because just like that, they could be gone. - Josh

Helping each other cope:

Be strong, my friends! ♥ Continue your love of music! God will help us through this and NEVER leave our side, so don't doubt Him! :) - Sarah

Trying to grapple with the sheer shock:

Please pray for Mr. White's family and all those that loved him! This was most likely a great shock to them and they need to be comforted! - Elaina

We adults could take some notes from these young people about how to grieve and how to support one another. They didn't presume to know anything at all that would make this better, besides being there for each other and letting one another talk. They were honest, raw, loving, questioning, human.

As far as inspirations go, I think they had a good one, and in turn they served as an inspiration to me.



We will mis [sic] you Mr. White!!! We all loved you very much, and you inspired us.
(From Faith and Julia)


Mama's

6 comments:

Dafeenah said...

Very nice. Visiting you from Mama Kat

Kristi said...

This is a beautiful tribute. Our community has felt the loss of 3 teenagers deaths in seperate car accidents. I agree with you that it's inspiring how they grieve together on Facebook. Although we hear much about the downside of FB (bullying, ect) the way that kids can come together to support each other and talk through the losses is a beautiful thing. Thank you for posting this.
Stopping by from Mama Kat's~

Have a wonderful day!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

What a wonderful way to reach out and encourage people going through tough times!

Deb said...

A very inspiring post. We can learn from the innocence and honestly that kids have. Adults over think things like this. We may not know what to say to those grieving and, in turn, say nothing. What a great example of how just being there for each other helps us get through loss. Thanks for sharing that.

Janice - The Fitness Cheerleader said...

Support & sympathy, not advice, are often what we seek. Great message Paula and I'm sorry to hear about your community's loss.

Kristi {at} Live and Love...Out Loud said...

It's amazing how social media has been such a great tool in helping teens reach out to one another and grieve in their own way, collectively as a group.