Being a high school teacher can be so much fun. Often, it's hilarious. Don't get me wrong-- it's crazy hard work and you're exhausted when you get home (can I get a witness? I know from your notes that there are more than a couple brothers and sisters-at-arms out there :)). I've been so lucky to have some seriously funny kids-- and it's usually about this time of year that I start getting sentimental about them. They're getting ready to leave me, all in various states of "undress" as it were... some are so totally not ready to be sophomores in any way. Some are still very much middle schoolers. Some started out sweet as babies and are ending the year tough and hardened. Some started off quiet and withdrawn, and are ending the year with the confidence of pop stars. I love teenagers. They're so complicated.
Probably because they are led by their emotions in so many ways, and we all know how complicated that can be.
One of my favorites (and I have quite a few this year) is a young woman from New York. She has this incredible accent-- she tells me that it's a Brooklyn accent. Honestly, I could listen to her talk all day. She sounds like she's 45 years old. She must live with her grandmother, too, because the stuff she says... she's such an old soul. Every day, I'm listening for something for her to say so I can post it here. More than once, she's done it...but I don't write it down and would rather have nothing than misquote her. But I'm on it.
In other news... As I was cleaning my home (um, have I mentioned that it's such a gift from the Lord? And that I am so grateful for it? And that it is beautiful but modest but also the home of my dreams? :) God is faithful) this weekend, this show that profiles Lotto winners came on TLC. One woman's story just struck me.
She said that she wrote a specific number down-- like 12.1 million or something crazy like that, folded the paper in half, and slept on it for a certain number of days. A bunch of details I do not recall came next, and then the next thing you know, she has hit it big for the exact same number... Really?
I mean, I'm sure she wasn't lying.
So, how many of us immediately have a laundry list of things -- specific things, as specific as her number was-- that we would love to "sleep on" and welcome into our lives days later? Both hands raised here.
But it makes me wonder... you might think this is a weird connection, but there is a horrifying movie from the '80's that I see in a whole new light since losing my son: Pet Sematary[sic] (that's how King spells it in the title). The family buries their precious son in the pet cemetary after he is killed because they have discovered that whatever gets buried there does not stay buried. Baby Gage comes back, but it's not the baby they said goodbye to.
It's been so long since I saw the movie (I don't watch scary movies any more-- at all), but I have this one image seared into my mind-- the father is sitting on the floor in his kitchen, having lost everything to the grave, having tried to get everything else back in his own power, and the moment was so profoundly lonely and desperate.
I remember feeling that way last year. Desperate to wake up from this horrific dream. Desperate to say some magic words and make it all be different. A dear friend told me about her faith, in which there was hope that my son's spirit would come back in the body of my next child, and even though it is wildly at odds with my own faith system, part of me wanted that...but it felt like Pet Sematary. God allowed this and took him to His arms. I can't force him back in any way. No medium, no ghosthunter, no hokus pokus. No list printed on parchment and buried under my pillow.
But the desperation claws. How to change it, change it, change it.... It's why I haven't really felt a desire or really even a need to ponder the details of the mystery of his death. I have a couple of ideas, but my midwife is a close friend of mine who would discuss any part of it that I want and I haven't felt the need to bring it up. "Why" doesn't matter so much, still. But that longing for a re-do.
I have a short list of immediate desires. I won't list them here or put them under my pillow, but here is what the Bible says...
As a man thinks in his heart, so he is (Proverbs 23:7)
...whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things (Phillippians 4:8)
Remember that old worship song?
Jesus you're true
Jesus you're good
Jesus you're pure
and you are lovely
we will fix our eyes on these things...
Jesus, who is like You?
So I will dwell on the goodness of the Lord-- He knows my hopes and dreams and desires. He knows where and how and to what extent I still long for my son, and always will. He knows my heart more than I know it myself.
So I will stay my mind on Him.
He is lovely.