“Good morning,” I hear suddenly from the intercom at school. I was catching up in my history class, and I was alone. It was just me, my teacher, and two other teachers. “We are sad to announce the loss of a giant of a gentle man.”
“Oh no…” one of the teachers mutters.
The teachers had a meeting a couple minutes ago, and I have seen my English teacher earlier with a red face, probably crying. It strikes me like lightning, instantly and shockingly–I can only think of one person.
“Mr. C. has just passed away last night.”
I can feel the tears in my eyes.
The announcer’s voice breaks, “Now let me read you a text I received from Mr. C. not too long ago: ‘Working at MT was my dream job. I love the children…’ ”
The rest is a blur to me as I remember–just remember everything the other teachers have told me and what the school has been doing for him. We donated money for him. We made cards on his birthday. Teachers always describe him as an awesome guy with a talent for teaching. He was funny and creative…
“In honor of Mr. C., let us observe a moment of silence.”
I hear my teacher sniffle. Mr. C. has many friends here. My English teacher called him her best friend… So many students missed him, and–
I don’ know why I’m crying. I don’t know why I can’t stop. I never knew Mr. C.. He was never my teacher. I never knew him. I never even saw a picture of him. So why am I crying?
It’s because I felt like I knew him with his friends’ words, with his powerpoints that my teacher showed, with the very mention of his name–I felt like I knew him like I’ve had him as a friend for a long time.
Mr. C. had lymphoma.
My dad’s cousin was just diagnosed with lymphoma a couple weeks ago. One of the students from my elementary school had cancer, but he recovered. I’m glad he did. One of my friend’s mom had cancer, and she passed way.
I can’t imagine life without a person I know. Maybe that’s why I’m crying. Because I’m scared that someone close to me will leave me behind, alone.
“And I know Mr. C. is smiling down upon us now,” the announcer ends.
I hope he’s happy.
May you rest in peace, Mr. C..