Hayfield was the promised land – the pinnacle of Dave’s career. He loved everything about it. And as I told Scott Brabrand on Friday night, I will forever be grateful to him for getting Dave there.
Today we met Dave’s family (his brother and his family, his parents and his uncle) there to see the newly christened Dave Tremaine Spirit Shop and also to see the benches that were installed in his honor. The spirit store rename came about because of students, parents and staff writing to the school board. I have the letters and they are amazing – so full of admiration and praise for Dave and the positives changes he made at Hayfield. The bench project was spearheaded by Jeff who worked with the school to create a serene sitting area flanked by raised flower beds.
I fought tears the entire 45 minute drive to Hayfield. It is always when I have been feeling strong that I am floored by the grief that percolates so close to the surface. We walked through rain and enormous wet, fluffy snowflakes into the school. And as we stood in the office waiting for everyone to be ready, I stole a few glances at my beautiful husband’s picture up on the wall.
Our first stop was the spirit store. I distracted myself by swinging my niece and nephew around a bit and then hoisting them up to get a better view of Dave’s many photos. Kids are great for keeping your tears and emotions in check. They especially liked the photo of Dave wearing an orange and white wig while standing next to a kind of budget Barney.
Next we headed back out into the rain and snow mix to see the benches. I have to admit that I again started to get choked up so averted my eyes and chatted with the new principal and one of my absolute favorite hawks, Alfonso. Apparently FCPS, the school and the landscaper really moved mountains in order for the installation to be complete so we could see it this week. For that, I am extremely grateful. (I am also so grateful to Cheryl who has been instrumental in helping us with this and our fundraising effort.)
Afterwards, we all piled into our separate cars and went our own ways. The kids and I drove home in near silence. I think we were all lost in our own reflective thoughts. When I am at Hayfield I can’t help but think of the what ifs. But I am also thankful that Dave had a chance to make his mark there. There is always a kernel of amazing even in a pile of heartbreak.