The horrific shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, in northern Broward County on Wednesday afternoon, hit much too close to home for me. I had children who graduated from Douglas, and I helped raise the money for the school’s football stadium.
It was during that time, when I had a son, Chris, who played wide receiver on the Eagles football team, and a daughter, Lisa Alexis, who was a cheerleader at Douglas, that I met Aaron Feis. The man was a member of the football coaching staff and was a security guard at the school, which housed close to 3,200 students from Coral Springs and Parkland.
He and I became very good, and close, friends who talked all the time, and when my children were students at Douglas during their respective times, it was Aaron Feis who kept me abreast of everything “good and bad” that they were doing. He was their Guardian Angel during those days, in more ways than you could ever know, or that I will ever reveal.
So, it is through a lot of tears that I write this in memory of all those who lost their lives on Wednesday, but especially for Aaron Feis, who was among those killed during what has become an all too familiar scene in America.
Not only was Aaron a friend, but whenever he needed advice about a career move in the Broward School system, he would call me. However, no matter how many openings he applied for within the District, he always ended up back at Douglas, so I told him in one of our final conversations that I thought The LORD wanted him to be at that school.
Because, Aaron graduated from Douglas, which opened in 1990, and he played football at the school, as both an offensive and defensive lineman. Aaron Feis WAS DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL THROUGH AND THROUGH!!
He was always there for students, either to help them, encourage them, or to discipline them, as only he could :-).
And, for that reason, I believed completely the first reports that came out of the situation on Wednesday. It was reported early on that a member of the school staff threw himself in front of several students to shield them from the gunman’s bullets.
When I heard that…….. I INSTANTLY KNEW THAT THE PERSON WHO SELFLESSLY GAVE UP HIS LIFE TO SAVE OTHERS, BEFORE A NAME OF THAT PERSON WAS EVER RELEASED, WAS THE SAME GUARDIAN ANGEL WHO WAS THERE MANY TIMES FOR MY CHILDREN IN THE PAST.
There are times in this life, when you just know something. On Wednesday, I JUST KNEW…….!!
There is a passage in the Bible that says, “The greatest gift anyone can give, is to give his life for a friend.” Aaron Feis gave students at Douglas yesterday…… THE GREATEST GIFT!!
So, it is through heartfelt tears of pain that I say Good Bye, and Thank You, to a Friend, and to say that I will NEVER FORGET YOU.
GOD Bless- GENE ROBINSON