This morning I learnt that a young woman I know, only 17, died in a car crash in the weekend. One of the really great things about working with teenagers is that they are all full of hope and promise, even the naughty ones. I really struggle with the idea of Ms L, a warm, friendly girl with a good work ethic and a desire to be a mum (she was training to be a nanny at the polytech and was also experienced in farm work), slashed from this life.
Don't grieve for me. I'll be alright, blessed with my own children and the gift of so many other young people to spend time with. Just remember the great joy of life and smile at the teens in your life, on your street, your bus, at your supermarket checkout. No matter if they are pushing a pram when you think they are too young, or smoking a fag when you think they are too poor, or making too much noise or filling the footpath. Love that aliveness.
I won't forget your smile Ms L, or your melodrama. I remember talking about England with you, and your journey to a new life here on the Coast. We spent a lot of time sorting out your work, and it paid off that year. Many of us remember how you and your mate saved the school bus when the driver had a medical problem and lost control of the bus last year. You made a difference Ms L. Our world and our lives were the better for your presence.