Mary & Mr. P
My childhood elementary school custodian passed away in a house fire yesterday in my home town. I feel surprisingly shaken up by it considering how long ago our lives crossed paths, and how often I thought of him (almost never).
I grew up in a very small town of under 2,000 people. Our school, grades 1-8, had 400 students. Mr. P was the custodian for decades. He was always there, sweeping the floor with one of those wide brooms, or up on a ladder fixing a bulb. He was humble, extraordinarily kind, a jokester, and was in so many ways a guardian angel of my existence inside that building. I have a lot of bad memories about school from those years, but when I think about Mr. P I have nothing but a warm heart.