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[personal profile] redback_bites23
I first met Mr Moonbery about 12 years ago. He was one of my first students. I worked in a program where I taught young people literacy out of youth centre type environments. My students came to me for any number of reasons, and my job was to improve their literacy. Most of them had major fears of learning environments, many of them thought they were dumb. I was learning to be a teacher at the time and also learning how to relate to young people. I was a cross between a teacher and a youth worker. My students aged between about 12 and 23. Mr Moonbery was 13.

Mr Moonbery came to my program for about 3 years. He used to come along and balance pool cues on his forehead and do other such things. He had developed an interest in circus and acting skills and this was always apparent. He had also taken up the uni cycle. He was one of these artistic types that would much rather be doing something, like balancing something on his head, other than reading and writing.

Towards the end of the program I got all my students to draw a map of their future. I had done a basic drawing of a winding road with some trees and I asked them to write or draw along the road, what they wanted or saw in their future. This could have been a future of one day, or a year or five years. Mr Moonbury’s drawing covered about a 12 month period. On it was a whole bunch of things, mostly revolving around something to do with uni cycling, which ended with attending the world national unicycle championships (or something like this). Mr Moonbury left my program, at the end of year 10, and went on to college.

A few years later I was working as a manager of a youth service and we had to launch a new name. This involved a big event being held in the city area with stalls and bands and other entertainment. Mr Moonbury was employed with his Uni cycle group/troup to come and do some performance/tricks. I hadn’t seen him for a couple of years, and he told me or I had found out somehow, that he had indeed gone to the uni cycle world championships and he had done all this other ‘stuff’ in that area. We had a chat and he told me that he was interested in doing youth work as a job.

A bit after this I was trying to track him down to let him know about some youth work traineeships that were coming up, and in the process of doing this had a conversation with his mother on the phone. She told me that it was my influence that had lead him to want to do youth work. She relayed to me a conversation she had had with him where he had said, the things that I did with the young people when he was coming to the youth centre was really good and he wanted to do something like that and be like me. That was one of the biggest compliments of my career.

Several years after this, with this thing called facebook we became facebook friends. From this perspective I’ve been ‘watching’ his life a bit. He still seemed to have many of the quirky qualities he had at age 13. I couldn’t quite tell where he worked, but from the occasional comment I got the impression that he was working with young people in some capacity. I was also able to see his artistic talent developing into stencil art and painting.

More recently he posted photos of himself with a young woman (there had been others in the past) and I thought to myself ‘he is going to marry her’. I just knew. I am not one who really believes in marriage, not for myself, but if others want to do it then that’s fine. Next thing he announced via facebook (and other forums I’m sure) that they were indeed going to get married. There was a couple of posts about this, and one of them was an announcement with the date and time telling everyone they were welcome. I thought, right, I’m going, unless disaster or something else strikes.

The wedding was today. I turned up at the venue, which was outside near a lake. There was a bunch of other people there, some clearly family and others friends. It was interesting seeing all these people that were part of his life. Earlier on someone, I assume a family member, asked me how I knew the couple and I said that I used to be a teacher/youth worker to Mr Moonbury. I don’t think anyone had a clue who I was or even thought about it too much. They were all absorbed and excited about the event.

Amongst the crowd of people was a group of young people with disabilities and what appeared to be a couple of other people who were organising/looking after them. I put two and two together and realised that Mr Moonbury was in some way working with these young people. He is doing just what I had done when I met him – working with young people.

The bride and groom to be, arrived, nicely dressed in a fancy car, which I think they drove themselves. The ceremony was performed by a celebrant who had known Mr Moonbury for a long time through an association with uni cycling. The ceremony was quick and nice. Very soon after it was done I went and hugged Mr Moonbury, who thanked me for coming and then I quickly escaped the small crowd and left.

I was quite teary throughout the ceremony. I could see how meeting me 12/13 years ago had impacted on the shape of his life, and I always knew how much I had learnt from him (and others). Whereas I doubt anyone else there, apart from him and I would have any idea about this impact.

We just never know what effects we can have on others.

Date: 2013-03-21 01:29 pm (UTC)
ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (Default)
From: [personal profile] ironed_orchid
This is a beautiful story. I'm so glad you went today.

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redback_bites23

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