Sunday, May 29, 2005

In Memory of Jessie

(Previous post was deleted due t0 unnecessary marital strife)

Last night I was watching the 11 o'clock news when I heard that the remains were found of a girl that had been missing since last August. This sort of news is out of the ordinary in these parts. Pot-holes and flooding dominate local air time. I happen to appreciate being between 4 and 6 hours from the urban sprall. (Where I work is more like a small town gone awry).

Anyway. I almost hate rambling on account of what I am going to say next. The missing girl's name rang a bell. I went into my records and sure enough, she was a student of mine in 2002. She was a shy girl. I remember her blonde hair, the way her eyes squinted when she smiled and her dimples. Nothing else comes to mind. No conversation, incident, or little story to tell. Three times a week we were in each other company, and I still remember her smile.

I was reflecting how I assume that all my students are going to leave my course, go out in the world and grow old. In that particular class, we spent a couple of weeks talking about death. I remember this clearly, since it was not long after that my own father died. Students seem unnatturally attracted to this topic. Its a curious obsession, almost naive in a way. Did any of those students in that class stop to wonder that one of their own would not live to see her 21st birthday? Did any of us stop to wonder that someone would die at the hands of someone else? I I presume, with comforting assurance that life is somewhat stable and predictable. These moments remind us all how precious, fragile and auspicious our life is.

Om Mani Padme Hum!

1 comment:

Litany said...

If we do nothing else, we can try to make sure the people around us remember us fondly.

It's nice that your memories of her are all positive ones.