What do you do?

What do you do when someone who has made such a tremendous impact on your life suddenly isn’t here anymore? Unexpected deaths are never easy, but they are especially hard when you don’t want to even think about the final outcome being real.

I’ve made it my mission to write about things relevant in my life throughout this year. With that come the good and the bad experiences. And unfortunately, this is one of the bad.

It’s hard to talk about my four years in Catholic high school without mentioning the man we all lost today, Deacon Dan. I mean, how could we not remember his highlighter-pink-doubled-as-a-magic-eight-ball Jesus statue on his desk?! Honestly, who even knew that was a thing?

When I hear others’ talk about their religion classes in high school, their experiences are not the same. The classes were boring, the message is monotone, it’s too serious, etc. Our classes were not boring, and half the time you didn’t even feel like you were learning about religion at all. We all learned and admired our God in a way that wasn’t strict – we learned in a way that was relevant to us. We watched films, had discussions, or completed assignments that most would not consider to be religious, but carried the message we needed to hear. He took the seriousness out of a serious subject, and we all listened.

The part that I admired about this man the most is the way he cared about all of us, individually. He pushed us to break through the boundaries we thought we had. He always wanted us to succeed, and to reach higher than the expectations we had for ourselves. He always checked in. He always wanted to know what we were doing. He always wanted us to reach our highest potential. What he did for me those four years, and beyond – I cannot even explain. It’s hard to believe that in this crazy world we live in, good people like him still existed.

He touched the lives of so many of us for the past 13 years, and I am sad for the students entering into NCHS that won’t get to meet him or experience how great of a man he truly was.

Thank you, for everything. I hope we’ll all make you proud up there. xoxo.

“And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings, bear you on the breath of dawn. Make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of His Hand.”