My grandmother passed away about 13 years ago,although we had a great relationship when she was alive,every day since her funeral has brought me closer to her. My grandma embodied everything that was good in the world,but we never knew how good. She dedicated her life to easing her fellow man’s burden,but we never knew her burdens. She taught us all to quietly do good things,but we never knew how good or how quiet she really was;until her funeral. Her funeral gave people a platform,a forum to share and reminisce. If she had not died,I may have never known what it meant to give of yourself. One of the greatest mysteries we grandchildren had about her was why she never took her much anticipated and much deserved retirement vacation to Europe to learn of her heritage. All we ever knew was that gramma had saved her whole life for a trip and she would be gone for a month;and then,she never went. At her funeral my dad answered the question;my grandma lived in Napa,CA when the San Francisco earthquake hit about a month before she was to leave on her vacation. She called my dad (her financial adviser) and said,“How can I take this trip when my fellow man is suffering right next door. I want all my trip money to go to the victims of the earthquake,and I do not want one soul to know about it.” The rest of the funeral was full of stories just as dramatic and just as touching. With each passing story,the appreciation for giving of yourself grew deeper and deeper. There is not one member of my family whose life was not drastically changed for the better that day.
Everyday I have to the privilege of watching the spirit of volunteerism in action at TOPA. Parents who quietly go about working tirelessly for the benefit of their children and for all the TOPA scholars. They show up,sign in with a smile,make somebodies life better,and then sign out as quietly as they came in. They dedicate hours upon hours to events that bring our TOPA families together and raise valuable funds,all for little or no recognition. It is inspiring. What a great example you all are for your scholars and for us. By the fourth quarter of every school year,we print out totals and amounts each fundraiser made,but those amounts don’t tell the whole story. The story of a community that pulls together to revolutionize education and set the mark. Holly and I are always so deeply humbled by all of you. On a personal note,thank you for helping me remember my grandmother’s example on the sign-in sheet! –Megan Olson
**I have witnessed Megan pass by the visitor log,thumb through,tap the top of the page,and smile as she walks away. With this writing,I see that it means a visualization of a dream come true with the help of parents that dream just as big. Beautiful stuff,indeed! -SC