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  • Writer's pictureRachelle Jervis

Day 69

Updated: Jun 26, 2019

Several weeks ago, I was asked to confirm whether I would be attending the Chicago Friends School’s annual fundraiser. They were celebrating the school’s anniversary and wanted to thank the founding board members who would be in attendance. I said I would follow up if I was up to it. I have been trying to avoid making personal commitments. When the day came, I was stuck in a work meeting far too late to attend. I resigned myself to send a note of regrets with a small donation later.


When I volunteered my time on the Chicago Friends School’s founding board, it was the goal that someday my unborn children would attend the school. Many volunteer activities are fun but service on this founding board wasn’t. It was a tedious, slow-moving chore. Now the school is an inspiring institution spreading peace in Chicago and I am happy to have been a small part of that.


Constance never got to attend the Chicago Friends School. The timing, location, and her needs made it impossible. However, a month before Constance passed, I visited the school and had long conversations with friends about the possibility of Constance doing an extracurricular activity there to provide her with added social interaction. The suggestion was made that Constance could visit when they worked on their garden. One of the hardest things about having a child with special needs is seeing them excluded from birthday party invitations, playdates, and the community. As a result, I was always working to find ways for Constance to play with other children. I don’t know if this spring Constance would have gardened at Chicago Friends School or not.


There were a million unknowns about her short and long-term future. I don’t know if the theoretical future matters now or not. It feels like no matter how hard you work to create a world in which your child can be happy and healthy, so much is just random, terrible chance. If nothing you do will ultimately influence the outcome, how do you stay motivated to do things like help found a school? I just don’t know.


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