Friday, October 30, 2009

Flashback FRIDAY - Thank you, Mr. Ross

It was April 25 of 2008, and the place was packed! People arrived in style as the theme of the night was a ‘classy JAZZ.’ It was the first Art Auction that Dan couldn’t make it to, and everyone kept asking me where he was. My answer of “he’s at a mens retreat” didn’t seem to go over well, as Dan had been the life of the party for every Art Auction past.

I didn’t bid on anything during the silent auction, as I only had my eye on ONE thing. The students of WMAAA had worked on a collaborative project that Spring. It consisted of EVERY student in the school creating an individual collage. Each grade level had a different animal, and color scheme. A local artist then took all of the collages, and combined them into one giant collage. The giant collage was then cut into two big pieces and individually framed.

They were the only artwork pieces that were being auctioned in the LIVE auction. In hopes that everyone else would be out of money, I saved my every penny and made sure my paddle was ready!

I realized I had no chance after my first bid, as my competitor was Mr. Ross.
I looked at him and mouthed the words, “Are you kidding me?”
I couldn’t believe my bad luck.
Out of everyone in the room, I couldn’t believe Mr. Ross was going to bid against me.
Every year for the past 9 years, our girls had been in every classroom together at WMAAA. And every year, he came to the auction and made large contributions to our community.

Everything in me wanted to say
“It’s OK, you can just have it…..”
Everything in me wanted to say
“But, I really want it…..”

He just looked at me and smiled.
I gave him a SMALL run-for-his-money, but was smart enough to realize that I was WAY out of my league. As the auctioneer yelled, “SOLD, to Mr. Ross” everyone cheered and I clapped for the man that had given SO much to a community SO small.

At the end of the event, he approached me and said, “So, why did you want that artwork so badly?” My response was somewhat matter-of-fact, as I explained that the artwork was
A representation of US...
An exact PICTURE of what we are...
A piece of every child that is impacted by our unique community....

He made a statement that I will never forget. “Well Mrs. Cook, you have given so much to this community, I want you to have one of them….” His kind words that followed spoke volumes, as he used words like ‘genuine’ and ‘dedication’ while describing ME.

It now hangs in my hallway near my children’s bedrooms. When people see it, they usually do a double-take, as it’s not really BEAUTIFUL or anything.
Nobody asks about it.
They just look at it, and move on.

But, every time I walk past it,
I am reminded of a place where
A group of adults represent words like: Dedication, Honor, and Integrity
I am reminded of a place where
A group of kids HAVE FUN, and secretly learn at the same time
I am reminded of a place where
It takes a community to raise a child
I am reminded of a place where
God placed me……..

Thank you, again, Mr. Ross.


Aunt Juge said...

Great Art work! I love it ! AND the meaning behind it! And of course the wonderful comments Mr Ross was speaking of ~ how much YOU give to that school and all those kids EVERY day =)

Jennifer said...

WOW! Great story Kristie! I am grateful to ALL who have given so freely to our kids and school...

Grandma KIM said...

I am one who thinks it is indeed, ...BEAUTIFUL!