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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Suck It Sunday


I'd like to tell only one thing to suck it this week: Cancer

When we moved here, I researched around to find the best preschool for my daughter, Ava. And when I found it, I knew it was the one. Ava's new teacher was such a warm and friendly light for me (and Ava) in our new world of upheaval and confusion after moving the east coast. I immediately felt at ease with this teacher, like she was an aunt (she was my mother's age), and I felt good about leaving my child there under her care.

It was obvious this teacher had cancer. She had her head wrapped in a scarf, but she was so bright and full of life, I assumed that she was on the upswing. She hardly ever missed a day of school. Last week, I was chatting with her and postponed our parent-teacher conference since The Wolf Pack was in town. Now I wished I had gone just so, selfishly, I could have had that little bit of extra time with her.

The last time I saw her, I was feeling rushed and stressed out because of our impending trip to Tulsa. I said a quick hello and left. I didn't look her in the eye, or smile like I meant it, or say thank you for being such a wonderful presence in my daughter's life.

She died on Friday.

We at the school are all in shock. She was just teaching on Monday. She seemed tired and a little out of breath. She was scheduled for another round of chemo soon...

Tuesday she took a "sick day".

Wednesday I brought Ava to class, hoping to give the teacher a hug and tell her I was happy to see her back. But she wasn't in class. The sub told me she was not doing well, hospice had been brought in and that her family was en route to her from all over the country. That this was probably....it.

I cried all day Wednesday. Felt a little better on Thursday.

Friday morning, when Ava and I had just gotten to school, word came that Ava's beloved teacher had died early that morning. Damn was the first thing that came out of my mouth.

It all happened so fast. Although she had cancer, she fought it every step and lived her life until the very end.

The VERY end. I feel tremendous guilt that the last time I saw her I was stressed out and rushed. No one got to say goodbye, because this teacher was so full of life she had us fooled that things were ok - until it was time to go. I'm comforted knowing that she was surrounded by her three children (one had just arrived the nigh before she passed), and it tells me that she was at peace knowing that ALL of her children were with her.

Today is her memorial.

So, today, cancer can suck it. It took away a wonderful women that still had so much life in her. I pray that she is at peace now.

After I heard the news of the teacher's passing, I got in the car to go home and Sting's "Fragile" started to play. So I'm posting it for you here. It was my reminder of how fragile we all our, and how life can be taken away from us at any moment.

6 comments:

Dedi said...

(((HUGS))) I agree cancer can totally suck it.

At least now I'm crying over something that isn't stupid.

The Mom Jen said...

Oh I'm so sorry that is such sad news!! I got the chills as I continued to read. Poor Ava and her class! Prayers to the teachers family! :( hugs to you I would feel the guilt too!!

Mommeee said...

Don't feel guilty over that day. Instead feel blessed that you got to know such a wonderful, caring woman. :)

Nicole said...

It's scary how your life can change in an instant. She sounds like she was a wonderful person and teacher. But dont be so hard on yourself, you could have never known. Not only that, but there isnt a rude/mean hair on your body, so I'm sure you were just a sweet as you are every day!

Give Ava hugs (and you)! xoxo

Katie said...

I'm so sorry!! You're making me cry just by reading this. I agree with everyone else, you are not a mean person and I would not beat yourself up over this. Hugs to you and Ava!!!

Closer to Lucy said...

Cancer does suck and so does the pain that comes with it.

I don't have any words that are worthy of how you must feel, though it shouldn't be guilt.

Feel blessed for knowing her and being human.

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