Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Some Things Hit So Hard You Can't Breathe...
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
School started yesterday, and I welcomed all of those new and eager and expectant faces into my classroom. There was Starbucks coffee for them along with oranges, apples and
muffins of all shapes and textures.
It's a tradition, after all.
Yet in the back of my mind I just couldn't forget.
At 3:00 we would be attending the memorial service of a former student. Thirty nine years old. A young daughter and husband left behind. Grieving parents. A grieving brother.
So much unspoken.
The message left on our phone broke my heart.
Her Momma barely able to speak.
How do you lose a child and even breathe.
We went to the memorial service, and I clutched Bert's arm during most of it. A Catholic mass steeped in tradition. I looked at her picture. In the same church six years ago this month we were at her wedding at this very place.
I just couldn't stop crying and I am up early this morning just praying and crying.
Oh how we love them, those children of ours. Those students of ours. All the love in that church. All the huge loss. All the investment into someone. All of the memories flooding back.
She is not the first student I have lost over 49 years of teaching. I have been to many weddings and many funerals. It always, always hurts to lose them, those dear young folks gone way, way too soon. They steal my heart, all these wonderful young students I spend hours and hours with.
I wouldn't have it any other way. The connecting process that makes them know for sure that I love them. And I do...love them.
It's a broken open moment for sure.
A day of new beginnings mixed with very sad endings.
And this morning I will go back into my class for day two of teaching. I will take a deep breath and say a prayer, probably many prayers to get through today.
It will take time for this to heal, even a little bit.
As I hugged her Momma in the reception line I told her we were heartbroken and that we had loved her. She, looking so frail hugging back, barely able to speak. I hugged her daughter and her husband and her brother, all so sad, so confused.
And all I knew for sure in that moment of deep loss and love and grief was that God was there. Right there.
In the middle of all of it.
He is always there, right beside us when we feel like the bitter has swallowed up the sweet. He is there when our tears flow and we're not sure we will ever stop crying. He is there, the Good Shepard, to hold His flock when we feel we just can hardly go on. He was there when she took her last breath and He is there to hold up everyone who is grieving.
And He will be there and hold me up as I walk into that classroom this morning. And I am so grateful, deeply grateful, that God loves me today and every day.
When things hit so hard that I can't breathe, He is there.
"If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old." ...