Will stood up and marched in place today. He took a couple of steps to the chair and sat for an hour and half. He is so much stronger each time he sits on the side of the bed. He can hold his head up now.
We are really looking forward to this weekend with Aaron and Angel. They made it safely up here and they were both glad to see Will. Will was very glad to see them also. We expect good things this weekend. We will let everyone know.
I had another memory to share with all of you from one of Will's teachers. This was his favorite math teacher and on special days they played cards if they got their tests done early. I was always getting notes from Miss Gregg saying that Will was cheating at cards. He didn't get that from me. It became a running gag between the two. Thanks Miss Gregg for sharing this with everyone.
Here is her letter to Will:
Dear Willie (in my mind you will always be Willie as I will probably always be Miss Gregg to you),
The first thing I have thought about writing is, of course, humorous. It is probably not a good idea to try to make you laugh right now but I might not be able to contain myself. I will try to hold off until the end of this letter. So here is my teacher’s essay on “What Willie Means to Me.”
The very first day of school, on the very first day of my teaching career, we had an all school assembly in the gym where Mr. Ills introduced staff members, reviewed rules from the student handbook, and other things that I can’t remember. But during that assembly, some students (and maybe the yearbook advisor) got up in front of the school and officially announced the dedication of the previous year’s annual to Willie Harbison. They presented you with a copy and you came forward to accept it. That was my first sight of you, a frail-looking little boy. I had no idea who you were or what you did to cause them to dedicate that yearbook to you but in the days and months and years that followed, I discovered the answer.
That frail-looking little boy was not frail at all. I came to know that you had the strength of will and character that few people possess. Your willingness to keep moving forward and living life to the fullest, doing what you love to do is an inspiration to us all. My mother and I eagerly watched your high school sports career: from inspirational manager of our state champion football teams to your unfailing dedication on your basketball teams. It was fun to see you return to the sport and watch you coach in Hagerman after graduation as well. I kept up with your coaching career through Randy after I left Hagerman and am so proud of what you have accomplished. I look forward to the day I can continue to follow your coaching career because I know nothing will keep you away from your sport!
But the thing that I have always loved most about you, Will, is your sense of humor. From the first days I had you in class, I have vague memories of quips and smart remarks (nothing that required the principal’s office…). Also I have memories of you somehow winning in our classroom Nerts championship games (I’m not accusing you of cheating because we could never catch you with a short stack in your Nerts pile or with extra cards thrown under the table…). J I especially enjoyed seeing you a couple years ago when your team played at Filer and I was sorry I missed you the next time you came to Filer – the raid you and Keri arranged on my classroom had me freaked out for a while, wondering how you had gotten into my locked room! J Between you and Randy, I have had to keep on my toes over the years!
Do you want to know my clearest funny memory of you in class? Remember the free problem coupons I used to hand out? I was collecting Trig notebooks one day to correct assignments and your instructions were to staple the coupons to the assignment for the problems you wanted them to count for. I got your notebook and there on the assignment was this tiny piece of folded paper, stapled about a dozen times to keep it in place. You grinned and gave me some “reasonable” answer as to why so many staples were needed. J I think that started a host of other papers handed to me with a multitude of staples in them. So my first humorous thought after your surgery was to ask you how many staples the doctors put in you? (I told you I wouldn’t be able to contain myself….)
So what have I learned from you?
Never give up.
Life is precious.
Be grateful for each new day.
Be thankful for friends and family.
Enjoy your work.
Live life to the fullest.
This is what Willie Harbison means to me.
Thanks Miss Gregg, you touched all of us, and you have seen the real Will (cheating and all) :)
I know Will feels blessed to have you as a friend along with so many other. God gave Will so many, many friends so Will would have you all to suppport him on this journey of his. Thank you and thank God.