Saturday, December 15, 2012

My day off yesterday


Thursday afternoon, I took off from work for a sick day. I had a baby appointment that afternoon and had the possibility of having to go back Friday for a follow up.

Well, Friday came, and I still didn't have my test results (I won't until Monday). So instead, I decided to enjoy the day with my husband who always has Fridays off and met a friend for lunch.

The day here in Memphis started off with sad new. Two police officers were serving a warrant at a home for possible drug possession and distribution. A 15 year old boy, who should have been in school, but probably hasn't been for years, shot at the officers which in turn they shot at him. All three were rushed to The Med, which is our big trauma hospital downtown.

One police officer survived but is still in stable condition, the 15 year old survived and is in stable condition. The other police officer, a mother of 4 beautiful girls, was pronounced DOA. My heart hurt terribly. I said a prayer for her and for her family right then and there and I said a prayer for my unborn child that hopefully the hate and corruption of the world will dissipate and he won't have to witness all that we have.

About an hour later, my husband and I were headed to my mom's school to deliver pizza to her class for their Christmas party. On the way there we were stopped for an accident. It looked like at least 6 or 7 cars were involved. I still don't know if anyone was tragically hurt and only saw two people being pulled out of a car. The good thing was that there were 4 or 5 other cars that were pulled over to the side that were not involved, they were good Samaritans who were there when the wreck happened and ran to help the others. I said another prayer for those injured and for those who did not need to, but did what they could to help until medics arrived. There is good in our world!

Then almost 10 minutes after leaving my mom's school and talking with teachers that have known me for many years, I get the alert on my news app about 18 children who were killed. I was driving when my husband read it to me and my heart about stopped. Where did this happen, when, was this all or are there more??  Who could do such a thing and why?

We were en-route to have lunch with one of my best teacher buddies who just had a baby in October and was still on maternity leave. We were both in shock over what we had just heard. As we sat there and tried to be normal and carry on normal conversations I couldn't help but wonder, could I have done that? Could I have laid down my life for my 18 kinder kiddos, while carrying my own first born inside me? Would I have a choice?

After lunch I went home and turned on the news. My kiddos at the time were probably outside having recess and had no clue about the days events. I thought of each and every face in my room, even mine that drive me bananas everyday, who I wonder if they will ever get it or will follow the directions or will not cry almost every day. I thought about them and prayed for them and was glad that they are okay.

I am friends with a few of my kiddos parents on facebook and to read their posts about not caring what color they were on on the clip chart and not worrying if they ran the sub ragged or not, it didn't bother me. How could it? Instead, they got to go to school and pick up their kids and give them a great big hug and take them out for frozen yogurt or to their favorite restaurant (like Krystal's...I know you're reading this =)  They got to be parents for another day, while there were 20 in Connecticut who did not.

To the parents in my room, just know that no matter how many reds your kids come home with or how many X's on their report cards, I know that they are just kids trying to grow and learn. I know that they are your children, whom you love with all of your heart and every fiber of your being. Know that I love them just as much. I've been with them 83 days. I know when they are really hurting and when they are totally faking it, I know when they are proud of something and have to tell me right away, I know when the light bulb goes off and they get it. Most importantly, I love it when a kiddo comes to me and says, "Hey Mom!  I mean Mrs. Starnes." It makes my heart sing. That's when I know that they love me just as much as I love them.

I only have Monday and 1/2 day Tuesday to be with these kiddos until January. These next few moments will be just as special as the last 83.

Yesterday was a very tragic day and we will mourn those angels, both the babies and the teachers, but we must take the greatest lesson from this. Tomorrow is never promised to us. The next hour is not even promised. Praise the Lord every day and love your children. Hug them a little tighter and a little longer. Turn off the t.v., turn off your phone, pull out the board games and the crafts. Play outside in the unseasonably warm weather. Be the parent they need you to be. Love them every day like it's your last day with them and if you get tomorrow, do it all over again.

3 comments:

  1. So sad how many tragedies happen everyday. I think you wrote this beautifully and I don't think it could have been better said. I too have wondered a lot today if I would have been able to lay down my life like all of those brave teachers did. I hope that if I am ever in the circumstance that I will. I love each of my students, past and present, and would do anything that I can to protect them for the evil of this world. God Bless you Laura.

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  2. I think we will each 'remember' where we were when we learned of the tragedy. Sharing, talking, blogging, reflecting on the day is helpful to each of our processing and I believe it supports our readers as well.

    Thank you for allowing us to be part of your processing and prayers.

    Debbie Clement

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  3. Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I don't think there is a teacher out there who hasn't imagined how we would handle this same situation, and if we'd be so courageous. Not a day goes by that I don't think about those babies whose lives were cut so short, or the parents with the holes left in their hearts. Like every parent and teacher out there, I have found myself letting go of the unimportant little things, and focusing on creating happy memories.

    I'm grateful for my young students who bring me joy each day, and for my own child's teacher who cares for her and keeps her safe, comfortable, engaged and happy at school. Those teachers in Newtown showed us what it means to be true heroes, and I'm pretty sure that most teachers would do the same in that situation.

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