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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Phoenix Rising

I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. – Ralph Waldo Emerson


     Eight years ago one of my students committed suicide.  The grief and guilt kept me from seeing my students that year.  I didn't love.  I didn't hurt.  I stayed numb and went through the motions.  I didn't feel any joy or satisfaction.  It was time to leave the job I loved.  I couldn't teach without giving my heart and soul, and fear clung to my heart.  A dear friend of mine shared a video with me that changed my life.  I decided that I would let each child know what a difference he or she made in my life.  
     Three years ago her brother came into my life.  He had a smile that lit up a room and made me happy just to be near him.  Every time I saw him, he gave me a big smile and a hug.  No matter how bad things were, he never complained or said anything negative.  He always looked at life's bright side.  I loved this kid and hoped it would be enough to protect him from all the things he kept inside.
     Last week he killed himself.    
     Earlier this spring I decided to get my administrative license and open a school for at-risk kids.  I applied to a program and was accepted.  Classes start this week.  
     After his death, I became immobilized with fear.  As a principal, I would have even more students to love and risk losing.  The stakes would be higher because I would be in charge of the outcomes.  I didn't know if I could risk this kind of pain again.
     My brothers reminded me to focus on all the lives I have changed and not the ones I lost.  My husband convinced me the stakes are high, but I have more power to affect the outcome.  My daughter whispered, "I am proud of you for loving the kids even when it's scary.  They can hurt you in so many ways and you keep loving them anyway.  I admire that about you."  
     So today I surprise myself by rising from the ashes.  Loving him has made me a better person, so now I can help kids I might not have been able to reach.  The Phoenix arises stronger from the tempered flames.                                                                   
   

1 comment:

  1. I know so little about you, just a few post I've read. What I read is that you have so much love for everyone but I wonder do you love yourself? I hope you do because you sound like an amazing person to me.

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