This is a very busy time of year for me. I work 8-10 hours at school and then I work in my sleep for who knows how long? I remember aspects of my dreams, but I feel the anxiety of whatever I dreamt about for hours after. Last night's highlight--I forgot to get the scholarship information to the principal for the graduation ceremony. My heart is still beating a little fast right now.
Last night was the first night of "Senior Exit Interviews." At my school we have academic advisory. For four years, teachers work with a specific group of students on their goals--academic, citizenship, and career--plus we try to help them see what may be in their future. Last night I met with the first half of my kids for the final time. I was not prepared for the level of emotion I felt during each conference. As I sat there listening to them talk about their final grades, their Senior Projects, and where they stood for the next two weeks, I felt extreme pride for the young men and women they have grown into. And all of a sudden, they are so grown up!
This class has a very special place in my heart. For many, they knew Andrew as a small boy. They attended Judy's Day Care with him. They played soccer, t-ball, and basketball with him. They also shared my grief last June, as their teacher wasn't with them in the classroom for the last week of school. They did everything I wanted them to do and more, even though I wasn't with them. This year they have shown kindness and love towards me as we have traveled through this very special year for them. They were aware of my tenderness and for the most part, they protected me from so much. Whether they know it or not, they have shown God's love to me all year long. Now believe me, I know they have complained about me at times this year and I have had my moments with them as well. However, in the end, it really has been a great senior year for them and for me.
During one of our exit interviews, I sat across the table from a mom and a daughter whose love for each other is palpable. When you are with them, you know they really love each other. As I watched them talk about the end of this young lady's high school career, I realized that this seemed pretty normal. However, the three of us share a life today that we would never have imagined a year ago. Not much about our lives are normal these days. Important people in our lives are no longer with us, because of their choice, not ours. As I looked at the joy in the daughter's face and the pride on the mother's face, I thought this is God's grace. Just as God has allowed Bill and me to go on and live our lives, God is allowing this mother and daughter to live their lives and celebrate this special accomplishment. Sadness still is our companion, yet God takes His arms and wraps us in His love, letting us remember the good things in our lives rather than dwelling on what we have lost.
As I shared one more time with each student and his/her family, I thought how can anyone doubt God's existence when one looks on the faces of these young people who have just accomplished one goal, looking towards the future with such hope. I saw God today.