I began my teaching career at the King's Daughters' School down in Columbia TN. It was a difficult job, one of the most difficult teaching jobs out there. Many of the special needs students that I taught there spent their childhood bouncing around from foster home to foster home and found themselves calling KDS home. For most of them, being adopted was a far fetched dream. A dream that they all held onto until it either it came true, or they turned 18 and went into adult care. For John that dream came true twice, the first time it didn't work out. The family that adopted him fought hard and made it final the second time.
John was a joy to be around. He loved keys, starring out the window, and all of the students and staff at KDS. He loved art class and was really a sponge. I remember taking a group of students to the Mideval exhibit at the Frist Center several years ago. Before we'd gone I spent quite a bit of time on lessons leading up to the trip. While at the museum, John impressed me with his retention from our lessons in the classroom. He wanted to be the one to tell the others about this one piece, how it was used as a water pitcher, that sat on the table and was used to wash hands with. I was floored!
Another time we had used coffee filters to make monet waterlilies. A year later, we used coffee filters for another project, and John remembered them as being waterlilies.
He always made me smile, laugh, and filled everyone around them with love. Out of all my students at KDS he is one that I have truly missed being around. This morning I received a text from the current art teacher there telling me that John has past away in a car wreck last night, that he was killed instantly. I find peace in the fact that he didn't die waiting to be adopted. That he was one of the few that lived that dream of being apart of a family and having people to call mom and dad.
I love you John.