This so-called "Rampant family" really does exist
BY MEGHAN MOLONEY ON SEPTEMBER 19, 2014
I’ve often heard this school described as a family, but that term passed in one ear and out the other. The word “family” is overused, and this so called “Rampant family” always seemed like a cliche to me. I’ve always known that this is a successful school filled with fantastic people, but it took me three years to notice that this community of Rampants is truly a family.
As many of you know, one of my best friends was diagnosed with brain cancer on the second day of school. Picture this: my friends and I have finally been reunited after a busy summer apart. We are just getting back into the swing of things, figuring out our schedules, and starting college apps. We have been waiting for senior year since we were freshmen, and it’s finally here. We have a countless number of things to look forward to, and we plan on making our last year together the best year yet. And now, surprise, one of us has brain cancer.
Needless to say, this news was overwhelming. Sometimes it felt unreal, and other times it was so real that it was unbearable. The first few days, as people were just starting to find out, I could hardly talk about it without crying.
It was difficult to talk about, but even more difficult to be sitting at school when I knew that my friend was on her way to Duke for an immediate surgery. We didn’t know exactly what was going on, how bad the cancer was or what we could do to help.
Yet, somehow, this community made it a little more bearable. The constant questions people asked me were not meant to be nosy, but rather to show how concerned they were. My friends and teachers knew that sometimes this news was too much for me to handle. When I was unable to talk about it, they gave me a hug and let me leave class for a minute. When I could talk about it, they were ready to listen. And best of all, I felt like everyone was concerned about Ally right alongside me.
Not a day has passed at school that I have not been asked about Ally’s progress. Some days it can be hard to talk about, but I love the questions because they show me how much you all care. It is reassuring to see how loved Ally is by this community. And when I find out good news, there is always someone sitting beside me who is ready to listen and celebrate.
This was not the ideal way to start our senior year, but my friends and I are blessed to be surrounded by such a caring community. Though I didn’t realize it in the past, I am now able to see how this community has always been a family. We Rampants have supported one another through deaths of friends and family members, injuries to our athletes, divorces of our parents, tragedies to our peers, and illness like this in our classmates and teachers.
Though these past few weeks have been a nightmare in many ways, they have shown me just how incredible this school is. There is a very long road still ahead of us, but Ally and all of us close to her know that we have our Rose family here whenever we need you. To all of our teachers and friends: thank you for the countless number of hugs, questions, concerns and prayers for us, especially for Ally. Thank you for being our family when we need you the most.