Friday, October 30, 2009


I looked up today and there she was...lunchbox in one hand, some sort of colored paper in the other. Her boy had forgot his lunch so she brought it. She showed me the paper. Ironically it was a memorial poem, photo, and obituary of a loved one.

We spoke. I smiled. Good teachers always smile at parents. Teachers want parents to like them. She told her son bye. She told me she'd be back for the Halloween party.

2 minutes later I realized I needed goodie bags put together. I tried to catch her. Too late.

We partied. Raced to eat doughnuts hanging from a string. Decorated cupcakes. Felt the sugar buzz. The kids lined up for recess. I gave last minute instructions to super mom of things I needed done while we where outside.

Then I saw her in the hall. She had already found her place beside my line of students. Beside her seven year old. With my teacher smile in place I greeted her. Good teachers always smile at parents even when they don't want too. Teachers want parents to like them. My mind was racing. I could have really used her help!

She apologized for missing the party. We talked as we walked. She had received bad news. Her thyroid cancer is back. She battled it five years ago. She will take radiation as soon as Wednesday. Her radiation is different from the kind I'm familiar with. She will have to be isolated from everyone, including seven year old, for seven days. I can see the stress in her eyes. What will her son do for seven days. He doesn't like being away from home or her.

My heart is aching for her. Reality hits again. I've felt it so many times this year. Maybe God is trying to teach me a lesson that I'm just not getting. I feel like a dog for being stressed over her not showing up to my party. I realize the party was such a small portion of the plate she was eating from today. It doesn't matter in the scheme of things.

Reality is that it doesn't matter whose opinion is right...mine or yours.

Reality is that family is important. When they hurt I hurt.

Reality is theres so little I can do to help all the people that are hurting in my life.

Reality is that you never know when you'll get the phone call.

Reality is its not all about self.

Just two choices on the shelf: Pleasing God or pleasing self.

1 comment:

Amber said...


That's a powerful story. And a great reminder that my focus is so often on myself and not on loving others and serving others the way Christ would have me to.