It's been a long week for me, not sure why. It's been beautiful here, nice warm days and very cool nights - 12 degrees night before last.
I've walked the dogs at least 2 miles every day, most days DS walks with me. Sometimes he's late, and with it getting dark so early I go alone. We've even started a fire.
I have almost finished decorating for fall. The outside decorations are done (I don't do much - one huge wreath that hangs above the garage; a wagon wheel, milk can and pumpkins with some ribbon). The last thing, and usually the hardest is Josh's cross. Before he was killed, Thanksgiving time was my favorite time of the year. It was a day all about God for us; to give thanks to the Lord for all He's done for us. Now, it's still that day, but it's bittersweet - he was killed on the Sunday before.
Our youngest DS has always played football - this year he decided not too. This was the first year in 16 that I didn't have a boy playing. The first game of the year was against their rival. I asked DS if he was going. His answer was a very angry - "I won't support anything that doesn't honor my brother!" This was right after I came home from Dad's surgery, and I wasn't sure what he was talking about. Then it dawned on me - they gave out Joshy's number. I asked him if they did, he confirmed it.
Joshy was a great football player, he played all 4 years. When he was killed the school retired his number 69 and hung it in the gym foyer - with a picture of him and the scripture Zech 4:6. We took this as a great honor to him. The school was so good to us, we had his Celebration of Life there. They just went above and beyond - Josh was truly loved.
When we got a new administration, the principal took down his jersy stating she thought it might encourage suicide - he did not committ suicide. This caused an uproar of all kinds. She didn't bother to tell anyone that she'd done this. Kids were calling us asking where his jersey was. When DH called the football coach, he didn't know anything about it. The athletic director - who'd been Josh's coach one year explained to DH that it'd been taken down. People were furious with her, I was too. I called her, went to the school - she was never available. One night she calls, explains her 'reasoning' and somewhat apologized. It was a mess. Petitions went out calling for her resignation, or firing. The newspaper was filled with letters to the editor. The school board meetings were a joke. One parent was arrested defending our right to be heard - she's since won a lawsuit against the county. But nothing was ever settled and his jersey was given to us. So.........when they gave out his "retired" number it made DS livid. That first game - people from the other team called asking us why someone would be wearing Joshy's number. I am so very thankful we didn't go to that football game. DH would have very easily unloaded on someone.
I emailed (our school district's preferred way to communicate) the coach that night - saying I hoped it was an oversight, and to please call me. Not a word did I hear. Giving him 2 weeks to answer, I then emailed the athletic director. Within 2 hours, he had emailed back - apologizing profusely for their mistake; and saying the 'retired' jersey wouldn't be worn ever; or "at least as long as DS was in school." The coach still has never said a word about it to any of us, including DS. The player who was given the number went to DS and apologized. He didn't do anything wrong, he never knew Josh but he has more ethics than the grown men who coached Josh for 4 years. I guess this post comes down to - do what's right! Not what's popular, not what's in, not what's best for you. Do what's right.
The scary thing is - some people don't know what that is.
May the Lord bless our nation - there are still some of us who are, "...one nation under God....