Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

Has all this time really past? I know it has been a long time since we talked but I wanted to say hi. Can I have your email address, facebook, twitter account? You were always hip are you on snapchat? How about Instagram surely God has kept up with technology. What is it like up there? Do you eat dim sum on the weekends? Do you see someone you know everywhere you go? Do you get in trouble for singing in the halls and banging on the pipes? Do you end the year with a big cross heaven trip to visit other cultures and explore their traditions? Are you driving Grandma and Grandpa Crazy yet? How are they? Can you see us from up there?

I suppose you may have some questions for me. First off I want you to know we all think of you, my personal memories are few but I hold on to them and I hope never to lose them. The WHOLE family keeps your memory alive and I’m so grateful they share their stories with me. Its how I’ve gotten to know you over the years. As a 5-year-old, I thought you would come back maybe, I had a dream or two about you. In my later years, I came to terms with it, but it was hard.

Have you been watching us while you’re up there? Mom received her bachelor’s degree in education and went on to receive a masters degree in Parish Ministries. She has been a rock through this whole thing. You chose well when you picked my mother as your wife. Beth is well educated too! She has a bachelors in Business and is the best bookkeeper any company could ask for! You would be so proud of them.

Me well no College education but I worked hard working with pre-k children and I work for the department of children and families now helping out the community! Honestly, even though my job may not be as big as others, it has a great reward, I love it, the fact that I am here to help others is the most important thing to me! I want to touch as many hearts as I can, even if that is just a friendly smile. I often think to myself when I feel like, what am I doing with my life….. you know that old negative feeling. I remember sometimes where you are in life is not for you it’s for someone else.

Sometimes when you feel you’re not doing anything in life, you are actually helping someone else. A friend I made out here in Florida was diagnosed with a disorder and confided in me about it. She once said to me “I feel so stuck like I’m not doing anything in life, there is no fulfillment,” she wanted more. I said to her “sometimes it’s not about what you are doing in life but who you are communicating with that matters. For example, if you hadn’t been here for us to meet I would have never been inspired to talk to my doctor and find out what was wrong with me. Now I am in a much better space and I have more understanding of what happens to me.” All because she was in the right place at the right time!

I want to be a supportive rock and mentor just like you and mom the two people who brought me into this world are my role models. Mom is so kind, she would give the shirt off her back for people. Her generosity and empathy are beautiful. I wish you could still see it.

Four years ago I got married to my best friend, he lights up my world and I think you would have liked him, although he is not much of a coffee drinker so he would have asked you for a cup of black tea instead of black coffee. I wish you could meet him I bet you would talk for hours. Beth got married too, she was married last year and just celebrated the first year of marriage. He is a nice guy and they love each other so much!

Mom never remarried I think it was too hard while raising Beth and me. She still thinks of you all the time especially now. Our family is struggling we have been hurt in many different ways. It has been hard to keep it together. In the end, I know it will all work out. If you can daddy send us some help we can really use it. I love you very much and will always miss you.

Love,
Stephanie

A Song for My Dad…

One of my Dad’s former students, Ryan Berkowitz, reached out to me several months ago to help provide something for my project. She is a songwriter and wrote a song about my dad. She is hoping to use it in an upcoming musical about teaching and teachers. I can’t wait to see how that comes out. I believe it’ll be a great musical but then again I am my fathers daughter and LOVE musical theatre.

Here is a youtube video of her singing the song:

 

Here are the lyrics:

Whenever I Raise My Hand

Verse:

There’s a man on a stool, clever and cool,

Clarifying each rule, whenever I raise my hand.

There’s a man on a thrown, he is wise he has shown me,

How to chart the unknown, whenever I raise my hand.

 

Chorus:

Raise it high! To the sky! Raise it long! Raise it strong.

 

Verse:

There’s a man on a quest and he says he will not rest,

Till we do our best, whenever we raise our hands.

There’s a man by a board, his chalk a mighty sword,

Tellin’ us to strike a chord whenever we raise our hands.

 

Extended Chorus:

Raise ’em one more time! To the sunshine!

Raise ’em far, to a star.

Follow his, borrow his, motto tomorrow is,

Not too far away girls and boys.

 

Verse:

There’s a man in a storm, out of breath and warm,

He bends his tired form, whenever I raise my hand.

There’s a man who is feigning, there’s a man who is waning,

Am I draining him whenever I raise my hand?

 

Chorus:

Run and help the man, with the lesson plan.

Listen for when he calls, catch him before he falls.

 

Bridge:

With one foot in the crowd, this man is in a cloud; he pushes far too much, to reach people he can’t touch. He is hard on his heart, he’s supposed to be so smart.

 

Verse: 

Where’s the man on the chair, with knowledge to spare?

It echoes down the stair, whenever I raise my hand.

Where’s the man upon that seat, behind the desk in his bare feet?

Our eyes will always meet, whenever I raise my hand.

 

Extended Chorus:

Where’s that man? Where’d he go? Tell me if you can? Do you know?

Follow his, borrow his, motto tomorrow is, not too far away girls and boys.

 

(words & music by Ryan Berkowitz / copyright – 2014)

Farewell to a Colleague

by Frederick E. Johnson

Sal, Sal where are you? Can’t you hear our call?
Your office is open, there is your chair.
Youro ld shoes are in the corner
(the ones that allowed your toes to breathe).
Your book is still open and your coat is on the hook.
Come on Sal we’re looking for you.

Sal, Sal stop playing. Come out, come out wherever you are!
The students thirst knowledge – Biology from you.
The kids want to perform: act, sing, and dance.
The seniors have a trip; oh and don’t forget graduation.
A group expects to go to Europe again this summer.
You do so much, we need you.

Sal, oh Sal. You heard the ultimate call.
You had no choice but to leave
Your bag was packed to overflowing with love,
You leave us with only memories
Thank you for the times spent.
You met your Easter. “Alleluia”, isn’t that your song?

In Honor of My Teacher

The star shining in our lives,
Our knight in shining armor,
You, our mentor,
You who is everywhere
And a part of everything,
Your trip has been long and hard,
Now you are gone from our world
But not from our hearts,
You will always be a part of our memories
and our lives,
You lit up our lives
With your car and love,
Good bye my teacher,
Good bye my friend,
You were there in the clubs, in the shows, in the school,
But most important you were and will always be in our hearts,
You taught us through your care and love,
we love you Mr. Eretto,
And we will never forget you.

Claudia Lee
Class of 1995