Today was the last day of another school year for me. It seems, sometimes, that my life is not measured in the normal January to December calendar but rather the September to June calendar. I am lucky because I've found a career that marries two passions of mine, reading and education, but more importantly, I work in a school unlike any I've ever worked in. It is a true community of caregivers, not only for the kids, but for all of us that share the linoleum hallways. This year, I felt that magic from my coworkers and my students.
This year was not an easy one for me. Losing my brother, took everything out of me and I knew in order to be the best I could be, I needed to step away from work for a little bit to heal. I planned to take 12 weeks off, but toward the end of week 4, I knew I could not be away from my students and my coworkers. I missed them, but more so, I missed the purpose of being around those toothless smiles. I love my job. I pour my heart into it. Just like being a mother is a part of my fabric, being a teacher is as well. Being home for those 8 weeks did help, but what helped even more was going back to work. It was working, not thinking about the choking grief, the devastating loss, the vast absence in my life, that aided in my healing. I've said it before that motherhood saved me this year, but teaching did as well. Being around my students filled me with such immense love, it suffocated the sadness. It allowed me to be happy without any guilt. So, to my sweet cherubs, although I helped you to become better readers, you helped heal my heart. I am forever and ever grateful.