Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Feeling the Love- The Value of Your Community

Monday was an exhausting day. Out of respect and need, I decided I would tell all of my students about my mother-in-law's illness. They were supportive, empathetic and wonderful, just as I knew they would be. It can be hard to bare your soul so often, but when you do you allow others in and those others can help you feel so much better. By the close of Tuesday I had received many supportive, lovely and weep inducing letters.When my grandmother died my students were some of my best supporters. I even had a student whose family ran a business where they would move the person's body from the hospice/hospital to the mortuary. He helped me understand what to expect and reduced my fears. He said to call him, no matter the hour, when she died and that he would personally manage her transfer. It was a special kind of peace to know who would help us with that part of her death. I will forever remember him for what he did for us.

My colleagues got together and figured out a schedule of how my classes could be covered in the event that I needed to leave once the school day had started. Several people had lost their father's to pancreatic cancer and told me what to expect. I got some surprising advice, most of which I will try to take. Most notably, Karen suggested that I take some of my sick time from work ( I have over a month's worth of sick leave saved up) and spend it with Eleanor while she still feels good and is herself. Thus, I will be taking Friday off so that Ellie, Eleanor and myself can have a fun day together. I think we will have breakfast at Mimi's Cafe, play a ton of Scrabble and maybe even get a portrait taken. We'll have to see what she is up for. The following Wednesday I will do something similar, but with Ethan.

Over the weekend I decided that I would begin to try and cope by making a small photobook. I went through family photos from 2002-2007 and created a 20 page 8X8 book. I had a coupon code for a free book from Shutterfly. The coupon expired today so I stayed up way too late last night finishing the book. I ordered it this morning. I can't wait to see how it looks.

These small things will help me cope with my feelings. Support and creating things always help me regroup and find internal peace.

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