..........that's where my first post was headed. A witty essay on time management, over- scheduling, and what really matters to an eight year-old. Then this came....
A motorcyclist was killed early Tuesday in a crash at an East Northport intersection, police said.
Timothy Valerio, 28, of East Northport, died following the 1 a.m. accident at Clay Pitts Road and Stonehedge Lane, Suffolk police said.
.......and I wondered why the hell I'm blogging at all when I could be smothering my child in hugs and kisses and making his day by challenging him to a game of Sorry.
Tim is the son of Sandy Valerio, or Mr. Valerio to me. Mr. Valerio was my high school music teacher. He was one of those amazing teachers who didn't teach a subject, he taught life. He is deeply spiritual man whose passion for music knows no bounds, and his quest to turn teenagers into great musicians was both magnificent and maddening. As a teacher he was sincere, articulate, demanding, loving, and brutally honest. A hug and a smile from him could melt icebergs.
Mr. Valerio taught me the inescapable truth of life, that getting it right is hard. Beauty is hard. Music is hard. Excellence is hard. Love is hard. They all take work and even then success is not a guarantee. I find myself constantly translating this lesson in one form or another; to my daughter as she moans about piano practice, to my son who yells at the bed he is learning to make by himself, to my best friend who struggles in a difficult marriage and wonders if the struggle will ever end, and finally to myself as I clean and cook and fold and scrub and chauffeur and volunteer and wonder why I'm bothering. Beauty that is the fruit of hard work, struggle, disappointment, fear, and ultimately triumph is in the mind of its beholder the most satisfying beauty of all.
There is no doubt Mr. Valerio poured all he had into Tim and held nothing back. Their time together wasn't long, but I'm sure it was filled with all the love, sweat, tears, hope, frustration and pride that a man who lives life to fullest would want to share with his son.
This kind of loss is the stuff of nightmares, the stuff that makes us look away from the TV and imagine how we could even get through a typical day. The kind of loss that makes us take a silent oath to do more with our lives and be grateful for what we have. Someday, not tomorrow, not next week, maybe months, maybe a year, Mr. Valerio will go back to the hard, hard work of bringing beauty to his music, his family, his God, and his world, and he will do it as a tribute to Tim, and it will be magnificent.
I hope that this blog will be something that will make people laugh, take themselves less seriously, try something new, or try to do something better, and I hope Mr. Valerio would approve.