Friday, September 09, 2011
Hugs and a Cheesecake
Yesterday I told my students about my mom dying. I also warned them I would be gone from school next week.
My first block students were horrified that 1) I'd be gone ALL next week ("Who will help us?") and 2) that my mother had died.
Andrea looked at me with real concern. "I'm so sorry," she whispered.
"Thank you," I replied.
"My mom died, too," she added and her eyes pooled with tears.
At that, so did mine. "I'm so sorry," I repeated to her. And we held hands for just a second.
Johnisha asked what she could bring me. I told her that her good wishes were enough.
"No. I will bring you something."
Today she showed up first block with a huge strawberry cheesecake. And a letter. It was the letter that was priceless. She had written it in pencil on thin lined paper and she had filled the page with deeply heart-felt sentiment. She quoted the Bible, she quoted her mother, and she told me she loved me. It was the sweetest letter I've ever gotten from a student. I may frame it. I will certainly treasure it always.
We will eat the cheesecake 4th block with her fellow students. That will undoubtedly be the best cheesecake in the world.
In first block, World History, as I was preparing my kids to be ready for a quiz on Monday (because I would not be there), the kids were glum. Then the teacher told the kids that their homework assignment was to tell their parents that they loved them. My crew, all ten girls, looked straight at me.
Megan said it first. "I love you, Mrs. Wiggins."
"Why, sweetie, I love you, too."
The bell rang and as each girl filed out, they leaned over and hugged me and whispered in my ear, "I love you Mrs. Wiggins." One from Iraq, two from Nepal, one from someplace Asia, and the rest SPED.
I could barely get out of the room without breaking down.
So much love from kids who live a harder life in one day than I've ever really had to face. That much affection, offered so freely and without any encouragement, simply must make one feel -- I'm not sure what to say. Feel overwhelmed? Yes. Special? Certainly. Lucky? Beyond a doubt.
The gift of love is the most precious one you can receive. Today I was loved beyond measure.
Thank you world for this opportunity. The work may be hard -- but the rewards are beyond compare.