We hear and say that all the time but it hits just a little bit harder when it’s someone that just seems way too young to die.

Our community faces yet another loss – this time someone I went to school with, shared the same graduation day with, walked down the same halls and sat in the same lunchroom day after day after day. We weren’t what I would consider best friends, some days we didn’t even talk. We didn’t spend the night at each other’s house, and didn’t even share our teenage secrets but whenever we were organized by alphabet, Theresa and I would be together; by default; but still together.

What’s more important here is that what Theresa went on to become to so many children (and adults) within our community. She was a best friend and school mom to many. I even have the honor of saying that she looked after all four of my children as if they were her ‘school’ children. Many, many of us can certainly say this. I remember when Kayden was born and the children were late getting to school, she didn’t care – she just wanted to see a picture! Cierra and her became really close when she worked in the office, she talked often about the things they chatted about =) And for Ronnie and I, it was rare to go into the school and not see her smiling face. I’m sure EVERYONE feels this way.

On Friday night when we were trying to figure out where to go, we heard the call on the scanner. It sounded bad and the road was shut down. Our instinct was to go in the opposite direction. We did, and shortly after we were on our way, Cierra called, asking where we were and where 340 South was. Once explained she said she just wanted to make sure we didn’t go that way. A few hours later, another call from Cierra. Unfortunately this time she was very upset. She had seen on Facebook that Mrs. Shillingburg was in the accident and didn’t make it. Wow. Suddenly our mood changed. We went through the motions of eating but somehow wanted to be home with the kids. Ronnie talked to Chase who said he couldn’t believe it. He had never experienced someone dying that he saw every day. Now that’s from a child that typically shows no emotion.

Once home, Cierra broke down. She couldn’t get herself under control and we understood. I think she stayed up all night on FB, just reading, commenting and trying to make herself believe it was real. It’s tough to see your children go through life’s events sometimes. It just seems like it has been non-stop between students, teachers, friends…..yes, Life is short.

Theresa – Rest in Peace (Paradise as Cierra says) and know that you are truly missed and Wildwood Middle School will NEVER be the same. God has another perfect angel but we’re still dealing with the loss.

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