It’s been more than a year wince Wendy Tefft died. I am no detective and only have access to the same information that everyone else has access to. But for some 380 days now, I have wondered just how many questions are there left to answer regarding her death.
Sometimes there are scenarios that are so out of the ordinary, that they stick out like a neon light against a dark sky. This is one of them. In an exhausted self-attempt to trust in the authorities who have more information than I do, I present two reasons, among many, as to the questions we all have regarding the end of her life, and why Wendy is most certainly missed.
- Her son, her kid (if you will).
- Our kids.
As a parent of six kids, I can tell you with 100% certainty that if my life hung in the balance, for any reason, my kids would absolutely be at the top of my list of reasons to fight for every last breath. There is a special, if not distinct feeling, that comes with being a parent. One such thought, or feeling, is understanding that we are truly a part of something bigger than ourselves, as in family, and the responsibility inherited with caring for those whom cannot care for themselves.
What if your 4, 5, or 6-year old son or daughter went to a school for the first time, where they suddenly were another child in a group of many, all sorting through this change in their young lives. And, among the nuances and subtleties that we all possess, they found themselves the least bit uncomfortable as they adjusted to this bigger world that they found themselves a part of. Then, all these kids and how they all act different, liking various things, using unfamiliar expressions for familiar sights and sounds, reacting differently to things over the course of the days’ events, and so on. But then, at the head of the class, a woman with a gentle smile, and eyes that seemed to say, “I’ve got you, I see you, and I am on your side.”
The woman leading the class is Wendy Tefft, and though she may run her classroom a little bit different than other teachers do, your son or daughter may never again know such an advocate over their entire lifetime.
As kids get older and more independent they need less from others as it relates to getting through the day-to-day life they live. But way back at a time that they struggle increasingly to remember, they had a friend, an advocate, in Wendy Tefft. See, Wendy was the light. She was able to look beneath the fray and see through the distraction that is the hectic pace of life in the 21st century.
She was able to look beneath the fray and see through the distraction that is the hectic pace of life in the 21st century. She clearly operated from a base of love. She spoke of the opportunity for all of the kids, regardless of where they came from or where they stacked up in measurable skills. Wendy really believed there was a way to reach, impact, and create an environment for every child to learn and achieve. This wasn’t something she said to make it sound good or to impress, she really believed there was a way to unlock each child’s utmost ability. She impacted so many. But among the severe pains, that we still feel, is the pain of knowing that she will never again be that wide-eyed child’s friend and advocate.
Often times the word evil is paired closely with dark, or darkness. One meaning of dark is simply, “the absence of light”. See dark doesn’t happen on its’ own, it only shows itself in the absence of light. I find that to be so tremendously powerful, because in the simplest of terms, darkness, and all of the questions, fears, and uncertainties that it holds, is overcome simply by the presence of light. In this tribute and remembrance, Wendy Tefft was that light, and where she was, was a better place for her being there.
Personally, the hopelessness and despair of darkness are overcome by these words, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John14:6.
I do hope there is closure on the Wendy Tefft case someday, at least from a legal standpoint. I know that I am not alone in this community when I say that the case has been closed for a long time to many of us. But, in the end (at least to this point) we do not know exactly how the darkness prevailed. I still get mad when I think on this matter too long; how is it that we could not protect the protector? I have prayed often for Wendy’s son to have been close enough in his lifetime to his mother’s light so that he not only never forget it but he also never let it burn out.
Below are some links to articles surrounding this whole story if you care to look through them. There are some good pictures of Wendy and her son in them as well. After Wendy Tefft died, I met with several different friends, sources, and colleagues of Wendy’s over the following several weeks, so I draw on those chats along with what I saw for myself over a span of a couple of school years at Glen Lake School to share that which I have observed. Wendy Tefft has been and will continue to be missed. And to Elaine Tefft, I don’t want her to be forgotten either.