Thursday, January 19, 2006

I lost a friend today. He died this morning of pancreatic cancer.
He saved my life once.

Dave Jackson was in charge of two classes in our high school, honors English and trackers. Trackers was a class for the high risk kids, the kids most likely to drop out or start fires, most did drugs. We called them “The Lost Track”. At 14 I belonged to both groups.

He was the man who fought my suspension when I called Homer an asshole and then my teacher an asshole for not listening to my argument. He was the teacher who had me moved to honors English, who had me tested out of high school at 16 so I could leave home. He was the one who talked to my dad, who convinced him to let me go to college instead of waiting in Maine “for the right man to marry.”

He gave me books and respected me. He read my poems.

Mr. Jackson, I am glad you got to see me be a mom, to see me roll down the window as a woman in the parking lot and say, somebody’s getting old. I’m glad you met my daughter. And I’m glad you always let me come back, when I thought I had no one to come back to, how you always open the door and let me in.

I grateful you were a good man--one to be trusted. A better teacher. You saved my life more than once. I will miss you.

7 comments:

jenni said...

sorry to hear that, T.

Lyle Daggett said...

Me too.

Artichoke Heart said...

I'm so sorry, Teresa.

LJCohen said...

My condolences, T. He sounded like quite a person.

xo
ljc

Charles said...

He sounds like an amazing person to have known and be changed by.

SarahJane said...

teachers are so important, and luckily some of them are smart. sorry you lost your friend. apparently his life was good.

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