“Do you know what happened to *** ?”
. . .
“Dear Quigley friends, ***’s Dad passed away…”
. . .
December is usually the time for family and friends to come together to be joyous and laugh (with the occasional drunk relative). Not for my family this year; that is, my Quigley family.
I received an IM from a classmate of mine a few days ago. Another one of my brothers have passed away tragically. He was a few years younger than me. The great-great grandson of a world renown pianist from Russia, and quite the protege himself, left this earth in a house fire. He was 23.
This morning I received an email from the wife of one of my former teacher and colleague. Another family member has passed.
Coming from a high school with a student body of 200 and a faculty/staff of 40, it is not hard for everyone to know each other. But what makes us so unique and special is that we are one family. A family that spans over 103 years. A family who lost our Mother 3 years ago, but still keeps the spirit burning and alive.
Though we all do not keep in touch, through our connects and various friendship, we are always connected. And at a moment’s call, we are always there for each other.
I am a brother. As an alumnus of Quigley, I remember those 4 magical years of wandering the hallow halls of the French gothic school just a block west of the Magnificent Mile. The daily task of studying Latin, mathematics, history and the science to making the bonds of friends and brotherhood that will last a whole lifetime. To my brothers, young and old, I will always be there for you. We shared something greater than anyone could ever know. We were the princes of Camelot.
I am a mentor. As a teacher of Quigley, I remember my short time there molding the young men’s minds as they begin to know the wonders of the brotherhood. I can’t help but smile as I watch the students roam the halls unknowing of the greatness they are about to discover. Teaching technology, theology and leading them onto the path for greatness. I was a professor of Camelot.
I am a legacy. Though the doors of Camelot are now closed, with the Phoenix dying in its own flames, I along with my classmates and colleagues rise from the ashes, letting not a single soul forget the greatness that was and still is of Quigley. Though separated, unconnected and spread afar, we are always united in the brotherhood and professorship of Camelot. People may not recognize who we are nor do they realize that they are working with us. But at some point, they will know. They will know and learn of the legend of Camelot.
But tonight, and once again in a fortnight’s time, the brothers will gather. The professors will gather. The legacy will assemble together. Not to show the world of the greatness that was stolen from us. No.
We will all gather to mourn.
We are mourning the lost of a brother. We are mourning the lost of a parent.
Tears of sadness will be shed not for the lost of our Mother, but we will gather on behalf of our Mother and assemble as a family to grieve our loses.
This December, we lost a brother and a parent.
This is not the first, nor will it be the last.
But at a moment’s call, we will gather as a family.