Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Miracle

A miracle occurred last night.  And it couldn't have come at a better time.  I have been discouraged, tired of being sick, and needing something.  This miracle lifted my heart to new heights.

It starts with a secret.  I had a favorite student.  I know, I know, as a teacher you are NEVER supposed to have a pet.  And I never let it show, mainly because sometimes she could REALLY try my patience.  But in 1993, this little girl came into my classroom at 6 years old and promptly crawled up into my heart and never left.  This little girl was scared, feisty, and had a little light in her eyes that no one had ever seen or nurtured.  What she knew was fighting.  That was the only way she got things, I think.  She came from a rather large family and was a twin.  You know she had to be feisty to make herself heard.  What I saw in her though, was not a bad child, but a child who simply didn't know another way.  This had worked for her.  Fighting got her what she needed, so why try another way?  Yes, all of this at 6 years of age.  So I took her in my heart and got to keep her in first grade, second grade, and third grade.  I had the privilege to watch this young girl learn other ways to get what she wanted.  Now, she still fought, because in her neighborhood, I think she had to.  (I didn't quite understand that then, but I do now.)  And beneath that tough girl exterior was a loving little girl.  And smart!  Wow, once she stopped fighting me, she learned FAST!!!  To be honest that was the true miracle.  She was amazing.  When Jack got a job in Maryland, I was crushed.  Yes, I had a great reputation in Waco that I didn't want to leave.  I had worked hard for that.  But I didn't want to leave this little girl.  I felt like I was abandoning her like others in her life had done.  What message would that send this little girl that I adored?  This was before computers and cell phones.  This 9 year old was not going to write me letters and send them in the mail, so how would I keep letting her know that I was there?  How would I communicate encouragement to her if I was not near?  I was crushed.  To be honest, I think I went into a depression over this.  Of course, the big move, having 2 small children, living in a different culture (DC is a different culture, believe me), and the huge shift in our family life all contributed.  But I think the start was feeling like I abandoned this little girl.

So, I held her in my heart.  I kept up with her the only way I could, in my heart.  I thought about her as she started 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, etc.  I sent good thoughts to her.  I encouraged her to not give up.  To keep trying even though she might be discouraged.  I prayed her fighting would not get her into too much trouble.  I prayed nothing untoward would come to her.  Then I started helping other girls here in NC.  I felt by helping them, I was helping her wherever she was.  I kept up with one young girl who reminded me a bit of the TX girl.  She had the same fight and sparkle in her eyes.  But she moved away and I lost her too.

Leaving teaching was the hardest thing I have done.  But leaving Shamika was harder.  Now though, the universe has sent me a miracle.  I found her.  I found her on facebook.  She is alive.   Oh she looks good.  She remembers me.  She is graduating this weekend.  She looks happy.  I am so excited to catch up with her. I want to know how much she had to fight to get to where she is.  I want to know if she felt me in her heart.  I want to know that she has found love.  I am so excited.

So the secret is out.  In my heart are really 3 children, Stephen, Allie and Shamika.  She has been there all these years, and will stay there till the end.  Now I get to welcome her home.  I wish I could be there this weekend, Shamika, to watch you graduate.  I would hoot and holler louder than anyone.  I would gather you in my arms and hug you tight.  I would kiss your cheek and tell you how proud of you I am.  I would beam.  So girl, feel that.  Hear me as you cross the stage, feel my hug, feel my kiss, and hear my words.........


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