We experienced sadness today on campus. We heard that after an illness that has lasted a few months, one of our long time staff members, Jerry Vaad, died this evening. He worked in the Rec Center and drove the bus to games and always encouraged our kids in so many ways. He had a heart of gold and will truly be missed.
Another one of our former houseparents, Dot, died a few weeks ago, and this was the evening the high school girls who knew her picked to have a memorial prayer service outside the home by the garden Dot loved to work in. Roz is in college now, but working here for part of the summer, and she stopped in as well. Mark played a drum song in her honor, and we gave folks who knew her, the chance to offer a few words of remembrance. I said a prayer and blessed the soil and plants with Holy Water. As they grow and thrive, it is a reminder of the new life that springs from the grain of wheat that must die.
As girls recalled the hope and levity Dot brought to their home, it was obvious that she shared with them a gift of life.