Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mr. Falvey

This morning I had to drive up to the high school and pick up my sick daughter. At the stop light I looked my rear view mirror and saw that the Vice Principal Mr. Falvey. We both parked and got out of our cars at the same time. He then said to me " Are you trying to make me cry?' You see on the back of my car are several stickers in memory of Micheal and Mr Falvey was close to my son.

I remember the first time I met Mr. Flavey. It was parent teacher conferences Micheal's Junior year and David's Freshman year. Both the boys had him for English. The conferences here are not scheduled you just go during the hours they set up and meet with teachers as they are available so he had no idea who I was. " You belong to Tiffany ******" was his greeting to me. " No.. I'm Micheal and David Phillips Mom" He became very serious and said "I'm so sorry" then laughed. We then went over the boys work and he stated how bright they were. Of course they had their problems. David was sarcastic and Micheal was unfocused. Nothing I didn't know.

Micheal's senior year Mr Falvey become the vice principal and they some how grew a mutual respect and somewhat close relationship. I got a call from Mr Falvey a few weeks into Micheal's senior year from Mr. Falvey telling me he was so proud of Micheal. Micheal had gotten jumped at lunch by a kid and just stood there with his hands raised laughing asking the kid if that was all he had. Micheal loved to fight so for him to not fight back took a great deal of self control.

While Micheal was in bootcamp he wrote Mr Falvey. And every time Micheal came home on leave he would head to the high school to visit Mr Falvey and another teacher he was close to. I'm not sure Mr Falvey realize what a great influence he was on Pokey. And to this day Micheal's letters and one of his dogtags are hanging on the wall in Mr Falvey's office.

The day after Micheal died the first person to knock on our door was Mr. Falvey, in tears. He told us that he had already had the flag lowered at the school and in his hand were the letters Micheal wrote him. Throughout the next few days Mr Falvey stood between us and the media who tried so hard to find us thru the school. He gave interviews , with our permission and blessings, about Micheal. He kept the media and others from intruding on our grief at that time. He also made the arrangements for our other children to be out of school for an extended time without it hurting their grades. He took care of us.

So today he asked me if I was trying to make him cry and he meant it. Then we spoke for a couple of minutes. He told me another student who had join the military had written him but he couldn't open the letter. I told him he should. He said he wanted this one to come home. He said he will write him back but not open the letter. I suppose we all have our superstitions.

19 months later and this man still grieves for my son and has not forgotten. I don't know how to comfort this man or thank him for all he has done and still does for us.

If there are angels on earth this man is one.


David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 09/23/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

Kanani said...

Lovely post.
We all grieve in our own ways. Perhaps you can start inviting Mr. Falvey and his family over for family functions. This might help him a great deal.

A Soldier's Mother said...

You done did it again, Angelia - more tears.

What you gain from this experience is knowing once again how much Micheal was loved and how many lives he touched and continues to touch.

What Mr. Fawley gains is the knowledge that he will always be a special part of your family.

You comfort him every time you show him that despite this terrible thing that has happened to your family, you breathe, you walk, you smile, you pick up your daughter from school. You live.

The greatest gift you give to Micheal is letting him know that you honor all he believed in.

I wish I could tell you that it isn't your place to have to have to comfort anyone...but it's who you are. I've discovered that in the few months...more, wow, look how long it's been...that I have "known" you...this is who you are and likely a lot of the reason that Micheal was who he was.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post about a wonderful man in your life. I can feel his pain, because I didn't even know your son and I grieve for him. So I imagine the ones that were touched by your son will miss him forever. Thank you for sharing again.

Lisa in DC said...

thanks for sharing - blurry screen...
Prayers from grateful citizen.

Neill said...

Pokey touched so many lives. he continues to do so every day. people who I meet, people who I talk to, people who never knew Pokey are touched by his story and the man he was.

Watching him grow from a teenager into a man was an honor.