As a parent, we know that time can pass so quickly! Most children think that everything takes "forever". If only they knew...
3 years ago today, I had a student in my class, A. She loved to talk to me in homeroom and tell me all about her life, her friends, and choir... she loved to sing! I tried not to let her see but as much as I liked hearing about A's life, I had other things I needed to get done and she always wanted to talk!
2 years ago today, A had moved on to 7th grade. She was moving on, growing up, doing all those 7th grade things. I had a new group of students but anytime I saw A in the hall, she was so excited to see her "old" teacher.
1 year ago today, A had started 8th grade. I never saw her anymore... the schedules just don't work out that way. I do know she was still singing in the choir and telling her current teachers all about her life! She just loved talking to the teachers!
Today, A was unrecognizable in her coffin. Leukemia and all it's nasty effects had changed her face, her body, her hands. If I had walked by her in the halls of school, I would never have known it was the gregarious young lady of 3 years before. But I wasn't walking by her in the halls at school. I was walking through the line at her wake. It was a devastating day.
Early this year, A's parents noticed that she'd been weak, tired, and was bruising easily. She was quickly diagnosed with a form of Childhood Leukemia. From that point forward, I don't know much. I do know that when she passed away last week, it was too soon. 8 short months of fighting the cancer in her body. I had no words when I tried to speak to her mother and father. I had no words to explain how my short time with their daughter had been memorable or special. I hope they knew.
I have been crying, a lot. I am a mom first and a teacher second. The teacher part of me just watched another mom say good bye to her only child. I can't help but be SO sad for her and at the same time, I feel SOOO lucky to be able to come home, hug my kids, be annoyed by them, know that they are safe, and healthy. So many parents are out there now, their children aren't healthy or safe. So many parents whose children right this minute are battling Leukemia and other forms of cancer. They don't know where they will be a year from now.
Hug your children. Be kind to those you don't know. Tell the people around you that you love or appreciate them. Today is a gift, tomorrow is a wish. Cherish the NOW in all it's ups and downs.
If you are able, help support a stranger who might not have until tomorrow.