Close to My Heart

I’m down sick big today for the first time in Never, so I figured it was as good a time as any to take some time for this post well fitting of it’s title. A TLDR, but worth it…hopefully.

When my daughter started preschool inside her current elementary school, she was provided a partner paraeducator to help her transition into the new environment. At the time she was still having very regular seizures and needed help writing and focusing through her tremors. This was an extra set of eyes, ears and hands for her that she desperately needed at the time.

This blessing of a human was named Jennifer, and she relieved a great deal of stressors for both my daughter and myself. She was in the process of completing a specialized teaching degree and had been placed with us originally, and specifically, as a sign interpreter for events, meetings and conferences. For three years, she helped Joey find her footing and confidence in her new world. And stood by our family in all our challenges and struggles as well as our growth and change. A true Right Hand for helping me navigate a hearing school for my child, as well as a protector and guide for Joey.

This past summer, there were high hopes that she would be our second grade teacher this year. These hopes at the end of last school year were met with a lot of mysterious, I don’t know’s, we’ll have to see’s, and see you in September’s. Before heading up North in August, which is when we typically recieve teacher assignments, we dutifully went to Target to stock up on 2nd grade school supplies. While sitting in the cafΓ© together, weeks before the first day, I recieved a very unexpected, apologetic email from Jennifer that began with “As you know…” and included phrasing like heavy heart and this next chapter of my journey. My heart sank. I’ve come to truly dislike these types of emails. Goodbyes without a Goodbye. And I have never, never enjoyed surprises. While we will, of course, support her future growth, I felt like we deserved more than being in the dark about something that had clearly been in the works for quite some time and would affect us so greatly. Far more.

We had worked together on developing a family literacy project for the school during our second year there before I started actively teaching again. And shared a love for the advocacy of children with communication barriers. Something I know well from both sides. I knew her career would eventually lead outside the school. We were prepared for that…to an extent.

Time, as it tends to do, marched on and we have adjusted to the loss of the presence of this close family friend. A presence that has yet to be replaced or provided for us. One we had to learn to do without. For the past four months I’ve been struggling with a lot of emotions surrounding this. I was dreadfully jealous of others who’s lives she would now be a part of. I was angry that I had been left out of the loop. I felt disregard for my daughter who relied on her so much. I was excited for her adventures ahead as a fellow teacher. I was envious that she had discovered her career niche while I was not quite sure of mine. I was honored to work with her. I was proud to have known her. And pissed as hell that I wouldn’t anymore. Though her work with my family had helped her get where she needed to be, in her life path, our part was over.

And then I realized, I’ve felt this before…and that this is what leaving a mark on someone’s life feels like. All these things are what that means. This confusing and often painful mix. It truly is the experience of being touched by another. This is both the joy and storm of dependence, admiration and having held space for another. Perhaps, I just needed to allow it to be a positive. And be inspired outward from that point. This understanding has helped me be at peace with some other things in my life. Still, I felt a need to feel that I was more than utilitarian. And hopefully, I am getting on the proper path in my life to one day be seen as more than that. To one day have this same space held for me somewhere. To one day leave a mark of my own. To have an impact for the better. I can and I will. This may be a good time to get to my point..

In my neverending search to balance the good with the bad, and in reflecting on the deeper meaning of some of these unseen life trajectories, I have opened myself to some changes for this coming year. I was approached a few weeks ago with an opportunity to step away from my classroom for a while, and, well…back into a classroom. Many, if all goes well. I’ve been offered to add on to my Education Masters, this time with a focus on literacy and language based learning disabilities which will always be immeasurably dear to me. Along with continuing to advocate for children and adults with barriers that often include hearing loss or difficulty. In sparse free time, I started re-examining these passions for specialized education a little closer. In careful scrutiny of a course schedule and classroom immersion timelines, I finally felt those much needed butterflies again. The nerves. The excitement. The fear. The purpose. Again.

Three years ago, I could have never forseen myself today. I was a shell. Maybe only a shadow of that shell. I have had to grow my own light in order to be capable of ever being one again. Because, in all my mistakes, that is all I’ve ever wanted. I would hope anyone who has crossed my path has seen that. In some measure. I can’t know. I can only consistently grow to be that which I’d like to see. And, in that, there can be no failure. I am beyond grateful to see this day.

We all serve roles for one another. And I suppose the value of that depends on how deep a meaning we assign to ourselves and others. And to these life events. I happen to believe that everything and everyone holds a deeper than surface meaning and importance. Somewhere. At some time. Every wheel sets another in motion. Some stay in place. Some meet back. Some are perpetually catapulting further away from us. It is easy to forget, or never know, the impact we are having on one anothers lives. What gets left behind. How far the wake will travel, and for how long. Who can say. Does it matter? To this, I would absolutely answer Yes. Forever. It matters. All of it. All of it stays close to my heart. I have hope for all of it.

Sam

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27 thoughts on “Close to My Heart

  1. Congratulations on your new journey. I’m very proud of and excited for you, and every Blessing that will come out of this chapter. 😌

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ❀Thank you so much, Raven! ❀ I’m scared off my ass. There is a long road ahead. I haven’t been able to make sense of even a portion of it yet. And I’m certain I’ve been internalizing nerves without realizing…which might have very well led to this plague.

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      1. I hope my comment did not upload 10 times😁. I kept clicking ‘send’ because it would not go through.

        You are very welcome! I believe in you! Your passion for teaching is going to help you to excel on your road. I know it is a lot to take in, but process it little by little. Once you get your feet and awesome bright red back pack❀ planted in the classroom……it will all start settling in, and you’ll be off. I’m so excited for you! Do you know how much positive change you’re going to make in so many lives?!πŸ™ŒπŸΎπŸ™ŒπŸΎ Take your meds, rest up….you can’t have the bird flu starting schoolπŸ˜πŸ˜·πŸ€’πŸ“πŸ¦πŸ§πŸ”πŸ¦ƒπŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No just once, but I hate that cause then it makes me look like I can’t work a button…when really it’s just crudbucket wordpress.

          Yaaas, my red emergency ‘backapacka! Still in pristine condition and ready for whatever comes. For the next four weeks I’m taking baby steps towards getting through the holidays and then being 100% ready. And keep reminding myself that I am *not* Billy Madison, because everyone will be near my age πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ well…near-ISH!!! Cryyyyyy

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          1. For one, some standout words: 1) crudbucket 2) backapacka πŸ™ŒπŸΎπŸ˜‚πŸ™ŒπŸΎ
            No you are not him! But I now have an interest in watching that movie. It’s been years. Take some deep breaths, pray, and enjoy every second of this opportunity. And really enjoy the Holidays!!! Bake some cookies, dip some marshmallows in chocolate, play in the imaginary snow. Everything will be okayπŸ€— and remember, every adult starting school with you, they are just as nervous and feeling like Billy Madison.πŸ˜‰β™‘

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            1. I have said backapacka so much this last year that I don’t even realize it anymore πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Maybe I’ll create a Wiki for it! I’m so excited but as of right now I am not doing SH!T until January, lol. I do have to get stuff for cupcakes and cookies to complete my list of Christmas funsies! – Billy

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  2. An insightful piece about all the conflicting and confusing emotions involved in complex issues. Congratulations on the opportunity to spread your wings even further. I like the notion that β€œwe all serve roles for one another” and would add to it that perhaps we also serve as role models for one another. Good writing!

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    1. Thank you, Donna! Absolutely, it’s such an important part of being human, to be conscious of your impact on the life path of others, and to look for guidance when we aren’t able to lead. We are all teaching each other something in some way! Thank you again!

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  3. Wow! Powerful and profound. Good for you my friend… best of luck in your new educational chapter 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I was laughing because just a day before you sent this I went in somewhere that had recently been cleaned with bleach and I remembered our conversation YEARS ago about all the amazingness! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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      1. The amazingness of bleach is eternalπŸ˜‰

        So glad you are well my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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  4. Sam, I am sure God the Father of all has great things instore for you. Just keep up the good work you are doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I’m excited and ready!

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  5. You’re growing, and you’ll continue to grow – and learn every step of the way. I’m glad things are changing for you in such a positive way… and don’t worry, you’ll handle it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Val!! πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€— I’m glad to have these next few weeks to regroup and prepare! I need it!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nadia Czarina Mae December 19, 2018 — 1:15 am

    I’m rooting for this kind and genuine heart! πŸ™‚ Too excited for your new chapter 😁😁😁 And believe it or not, you actually instilled that particular notion of touching one’s life. If you aren’t sure what it was, I can be a living witness 😊 Good luck, Sammy!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yaaaaaaay! I’m so glad to see you and that you’re picking up writing again! I know it hurts to erase pages, but sometimes it’s SO necessary in order to be able to move forward with a fresh start in each new portion of our lives! I’m proud of you for taking that brave step! Welcome back my friend! πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nadia Czarina Mae December 21, 2018 — 7:39 pm

        One of my regrets is actually deleting that page! I have so much memories and with a click, they’re all gone… but! It’s a remedy to all that’s been broken. Now it’s time to write about all stuff that matter 😁 Fresh start, as you said ☺️ And I misssssss thisssss! Thank you, I’m proud of myself too 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  7. This was so eloquently and beautifully written, my friend. You know I wish nothing but the best for you in these new adventures that you have ahead. I have no doubt that you already have and will continue to leave a mark on all the lives you encounter as an educator, because you already do that as a writer, and as a friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dubya! I appreciate the words of encouragement because I have to say I’m having a lot of doubt right now. I’m excited and am not turning back, but it’s hard to picture yourself *exactly* where you want to be and not have deeper universal questions to look at. It’s been very scary, but usually those are the things that I most need to make the right changes.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is a beautiful post. Thank you for being so honest about this painful time in your life. I have experienced this kind of thing before, too. It can be so painful. I think your attitude towards it is wonderful, and it is also encouraging to me, too. I’m excited about your new opportunities as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for this, Shelly! It took a long while but reframing it and asking some hard questions to myself really helped me turn it into a positive. These things, like most, truly do happen for a reason even if we can’t see it right away!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree, Sam! I have to work to reframe things, too. It is so helpful for me when I can. It helps me to find grace and magic for growth in every situation, even when they are painful.

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        1. Grace! Exactly that!…that is both the battle and the beauty! Happy holidays to you πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—

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  9. Another powerful post and so beautifully expressed. You have such a way with words and a deep insight that is rare and precious. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for these words πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€— And you’re welcome!

      Liked by 1 person

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