"Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you'll look back and realize they were big things."
On Tuesday, May 21st I got a phone call from the principal of my daughter's school.
"I have some bad news," she said. "One of our seventh grade students collapsed during third period and died."
Her voice was cracking as she said this. My heart broke a little at the thought of this monumental task. No doubt it was not any easier to call the first or the 200th parent that day to let them know.
And then I had to tell Tiny Dancer.
I had a hard time keeping it together to inform her that her classmate had passed away. She knew that he had collapsed, but didn't know the sad outcome. She is in sixth grade, so she didn't know him well, but there were still sobs.
Joey Miller was a bright boy with a big smile who loved to fish and play video games. He is part of our small Catholic Middle School community. There were classmates there when it happened. He was surrounded by friends. My heart aches for the teacher who could not do anything to bring him back. And for the administrators who had to make a terrible phone call. Joey could easily have been anyone's child that day. We don't know the reasons why this happened yet, but it really doesn't matter. He is the child of all of us today.
Joey's best friend is Noah Lamaide. Noah started a fundraising network a few years ago on his 9th birthday called Noah's Dream Catcher Network. His lofty goal is to do a fundraiser each year to help those who are disadvantaged. In 2012 he saved his grandmother's home from foreclosure and got national attention. Currently, Noah has started a fund where 100% of the donations will be given to the Miller Family in Joey's honor. What an incredible gift of friendship and support! This young man's actions restore my faith that there is a lot of good in this world.
Last night when I was at the store, I spied the powdered sugar mini donuts and the colorful sprinkles on the chocolate donut holes. On impulse, I threw them in my cart.
I broke off my work for the evening early.
I shared a hearty laugh with my daughter over googly eyes we made at each other.
I told my son to not stay up too late.
I tucked my daughter in bed with extra snuggles.
This morning Tiny Dancer asked me why there were donuts for breakfast.
I shrugged and said, "Why not?"
I recognized that I needed to take the chance to make the ordinary extraordinary. I need to do that more often. In truth, I am celebrating the every day moments that become memories and honoring a little boy who has left a big hole in our community.
If today is not the right time for powdered sugar and sprinkles, then when?