Monday, January 31, 2011

My tribute to Mr Woodyard....

Once upon a time there lived a man.  He was a simple soul, never asked for much and always gave more than he got.  He played a pretty mean guitar, sang a soulful song and along the way he touched the lives and hearts of thousands.
He wasn’t famous, he wasn’t rich, you won’t see his name in lights yet his life shone a bright light into the lives of so many others.
I’m sitting here on my deck tonight writing to you so that his memory will be kept alive.  You see, I received word yesterday that he has passed on and was not able to put pen to paper until today.  The shock was just too great.
I spent 5 years of my life under the watchful eye of this caring individual.  5yrs protected and sheltered by him from the harsh realities that were my teenage years.  Long talks behind closed doors brought comfort in times of need. Always encouraging with never a harsh word he often took more time then he had to dry my tears.
There were a lot of those growing up and many a time when growing up seemed so much more difficult than giving up.  He never did, give up on me that is and regardless of how much trouble I caused him, he never walked away.  I was a pain; rebellious, self centered, thinking that I had all the answers, yet by my side he remained.  He had my back and life at home became too much to bear he would quietly convince me to stick it out just a little longer.  He always said some day I would understand, I now I think maybe I do. 
He never judged or condemned me, only tried desperately to understand.  He got through, when nobody else could reach me.  He burrowed a small spot into my heart and there he remains one of the biggest influences of my youth.
Don’t quit – don’t give up – you are better than this – take care of you – follow your heart – follow your dreams – be you – and be happy while you are doing it...
That was his advice and though I did not always listen then, I have remembered it often as I grew.  Life can be hard but love is free and that is what his love meant to me; the freedom to be the best me I could be.  I’m still working on it, his guidance and strength still in my heart.  I was looking forward to the day I could come to him and say thank-you; show him what I’d become.  I’ll never get the chance but I know he’s watching and I’ll keep working hard to honour his memory and all that he stood for.
I am only one person, only one life touched with only one part of the great legacy that was his life’s work.
Imagine what kind of impact he made on the hundreds of students that walked the halls of our small school.
Who was this man?
He was our high school vice-principal and he is one of the reasons I have made it this far.
Mr Woodyard this is my way of saying thank-you.  To all of you out there reading this, please remember his name; let it be a reminder to us all that a man does not have to be a great man to make a difference but he does have to make a difference to be a great man.
Jean Victoria Norloch

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