Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jeanne Modesda - Guest Post by Grant Stilp

one of my favorite picts of G and I
Our son Grant (10 years) is in 5th grade this year.  Each week he has a creative writing assignment called a PAW (it stands for something but I can't remember what).  He needs to have it drafted by Wednesday to present to his parents for editing purposes.  Once we edit the PAW, we sign off on the bottom and he has one day to make the revisions and present a final copy to his teacher.

Grant hates it when I edit his PAW because I "always tear it apart and make too many edits."  He's a gifted writer with a knack for procrastinating and throwing things together at the last minute.  I love writing, editing and seeing my kids give their best effort.  What else can I say?  Last night he snuck his PAW to Curt and said, "Whew.  I'm glad Mom's busy.  She rips my PAW apart every time but you never make any edits."  Curt replied, "That's cause she's a writer and I don't know how to spell."  But I digress...

Last week's PAW was to choose someone you viewed as heroic and write a letter to the Postmaster General making an argument for why that person should be featured on a postage stamp.  Grant's original effort was lack luster, but his second attempt was stellar.  He gave me permission to share it on the blog (as they get older you have to ask permission).
Grant with aforementioned rug burn

I would love to post a picture of him holding his report, but three things prevent that.

  1. There's no way he would pose for me holding a picture of his report.  He's much too cool for that.  
  2. He has a huge rug burn on his chin from practicing The Worm (a breakdancing move) at church. (Don't ask.  I don't even understand).  
  3. He refuses to stop picking at the rug burn so what could have been gone two weeks ago is becoming a permanent fixture on his adorable little face.  I've repeated more than once, "This is one of those cases where I will be REALLY mad if you continue to pick at that and end up with a huge scar on your chin for the rest of your life because you can't practice self control."  

I do have to state the obvious here - I love my boy!  He's about the goofiest, most-fun, adorable, loving boy on the planet.  He brought this picture of Jeanne to school with him to show his class and was genuinely moved by her story.

Jeanne (middle) was in the small group that Beth and I led
Without further ado, here's Grant's post.  Nice work Sweet Boy!

Jeanne Modesda
 By Grant Stilp
5th Grade
Mabel Rush Elementary School

"Dear Postmaster General,

I believe that Jeanne Modesda should have her face on a postage stamp.  She has persevered through many things.  When the earthquake hit Haiti two years ago she lost her house - every last possession.  She said, "There was not even a cup left for us to take."  Her daughter died at the university.  Yet, Jeanne still goes into the mountains to schedule weddings for the women that live in the brush.

Jeanne was standing on the roof of the second story of her house.  She was planning the construction of the third story when the earth started to shake.  Then her house collapsed, with 13 of her 14 children in it.  There was nothing left!  She knew her kids couldn't have survived.  But then she heard her 21-year-old son speak, and within an hour all her kids were out!  Her house was gone, but all her kids were alive.

Next she rushed to the university to find her daughter, Aelbellona, who was a teacher there.  What she found was devastating.  Aelbellona had died in her classroom.  She dug Aelbellona out of the rubble.  It was a long walk back to Carrefour to bury her. 

Even though Jeanne has nothing, she is still giving.  She goes with her daughters into the mountains to marry the women that live there.  She provides everything needed for a wedding because these women have nothing.  Jeanne spends her days rebuilding her house and collecting the dresses and rings for the weddings.

Jeanne Modesda should have her face on a postage stamp because she persevered through many things and yet she still gives."

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