The older I get, the more I know it’s people who matter. It’s not money, success, fame, sports, talents or hobbies. It’s people. All those other things are windowdressing. I bring this up now because in the last year at my school: our librarian, who was exceptional, died; our principal, who was exceptional, resigned; and the district sent 5 of our best teachers to other schools. The building is still there, the playground is still there, the parking lot, the books, the desks are still there. But there is a tremendous hole in the air. People go on, but I feel like we’re holding our breaths. Mr. Hill won’t open the door for me anymore when I come into the office or broaden my horizons with some idea he has. Ann won’t find me books on what I’m teaching and deliver them right to my classroom, or steal a graham cracker while she’s there. Trombino won’t bring her fifth graders all dressed in funny costumes to do fairy tale theatre at the end of the year. Schaf won’t be politically conservative, military wife Schaf. Olson wont bend my ear or sell me Mary Kay. I needed to speak my loss, and sound a warning, when the people around you are with you, love them, accept them, let them know they matter, because today is the day, and you don’t have tomorrow.