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‘Spring is when you get to do the fun stuff’ Nora tries to be a light in the darkness

‘Spring is when you get to do the fun stuff’ Nora tries to be a light in the darkness

For Nora Fiero and her Haslett High School classmates, this has been a dark year.

“Spring is when you get to do the fun stuff about being a senior.” Nora lists: “Senior Recognition [Ceremony], the senior run, prom. I was part of the tech crew for the theater group and we missed our spring play this year. Obviously, we won’t have commencement like we usually would.

“I was really upset about missing those, but I’m trying to stay positive. We’ve certainly had worse losses. When we came back from winter break, our principal, Mr. Wegenke, wasn’t at school. Over the holiday, he was diagnosed with advanced stage pancreatic cancer. It was weird. The first day back from break, my teachers were OK if we didn’t get a lot of work done. When he passed just a week later, we were all in shock.”

Two other former teachers also died around the same time.

“I’m trying to keep a positive attitude. I reach out to friends and check in with family more often, just to see how they’re doing. I let them know I’m there for them and try to make them smile a bit. Sometimes I make sure to tell them it’s OK to not be OK.

“When we ask, ‘How are you,’ I think we mean it more. It used to be a greeting we glossed over, now it’s a lifestyle change. We really do want to know.

“When this is over and we get back to normal, I’ll try to have a deeper appreciation for small things I took for granted. Going back to work, being with my co-workers and the social aspect of school come to mind. I really like being around people. Which is something I look forward to when I attend Ferris [State University] in the fall.

“Youth group helps. I’m part of groups at both St. Martha, my home parish, and St. Gerard, where my dad used to work. Both offer a consistent place with a great group of friends. Whether we’re together in person or online through ZOOM, they help me a lot.

“Mass also helps. It gives consistency and links me to my faith. Between school, job, friends and more, it’s easy to forget about faith. But my mom has made sure our family watches livestreamed Mass every Sunday. I especially appreciate the time right after Communion when we sit quietly and pray.

“Another thing that helps is my art. I definitely have a lot more time to paint and draw now, so that’s been cool. I don’t think I’m an especially great artist, but I enjoy creating. My friends kept encouraging me to make an Instagram account for my artwork. I was afraid of putting myself out there, but my friends really helped. Now I’m glad I did.

“I’ve also been baking a lot more. From what I hear, my family enjoys it. Whatever I make always gets eaten!

“Basically, I’m just trying my best to stay positive and take care of my well-being. That’s all anyone can do in this time. Do things you love and try to be a good influence on yourself and the people you care about so you can be a light in the darkness. That can get us through even the darkest times.”