The contingent from the little college in the orange groves numbered five. We joined a group already gathering in the chapel room off Alicia Parkway in Laguna Hills on Saturday afternoon. The world beyond was bustling, for it was, after all, the weekend before Christmas, two days before Hanukkah. We stepped away from that bustle for a couple hours to remember a student, dead at 26, a young man who had faced formidable odds and made such progress, a genuinely warm and cheerful soul, someone Beth Sanchez would call one of our "special friends." He'd been a student at the college for several years and was well known and loved. That afternoon we learned more about him - his family history, his particular challenges, his triumphs. We hugged his weeping mother, shook the strong proud hand of his stepfather. We heard from those like us who helped him live and learn. We were reminded of all that our students carry that we might not always see and what a privilege it is to be a part of their lives. Good things to remember as this year comes to a close.
|Beth spoke with a full heart.|
Tony loved the Backstreet Boys.