“Saying goodbye” is probably one of the most difficult emotions and realities that we humans must experience.
We take our eldest child to the bus stop on his/her first day of kindergarten, stand and wait for the bus to come, and then watch as our child drives away in that big yellow bus to begin a new learning experience. Tears well up and the lump in your throat grows even bigger! Next, when they either graduate from high school or college and move away from home, another set of tears flows and an even bigger lump appears. Sure – you are more than happy for them and proud of them, but those tears come anyway. Those tears come again when they are walking down the aisle to begin another phase of their lives, only this time they are permanently gone, to achieve their own lifelong goals and dreams. They won’t be coming home at the end of the day because they are going to another home now.
It’s all part of the life cycle. Personally though, I believe that “saying goodbye” for that last time to parents, partners, children, relatives, or friends is the most difficult of all, because it is final.
Our community and our schools said goodbye this past weekend to a true colleague and friend. He was an educator, an encourager, a husband, a father and grandfather, a jokester, and a man who loved his job and everyone around him. We are all going to miss Roger Stricker, and it is going to be extremely difficult to find someone who can even begin to fill his shoes. As Transportation Director, he knew every road in this county, where every child lived, where all the turn-arounds were for the bus drivers, and made certain we were all prepared every year for our jobs. He was kind, patient, never in a hurry, loved his town, his church, his family, and the St. Louis Cardinals!
Rest in peace, Roger. You are truly missed already.