this semester, as part of my application to the teaching program at CSULB, i need to complete 45 hours of classroom observation. 45 hours is a-freaking-lot, but it has been so fun to be back in the classroom!
yesterday, i observed my first middle school history class - 6th and 7th graders. we played jeapordy and built bottle rockets (isn't history fun?!), and i almost passed out from their overwhelming energy, but it was fun. after 6 periods, as the final bell was about to ring and the students were packing their backpacks and milling about, i suddenly realized that when i was in 7th grade, anxiously anticipating spring break, my dad was living his last few days here.
it's been almost 9 years, to the exact day, and time has healed those wounds...most of the time. all the 'why' questions have faded away with the knowledge that God is our Father, our Provider, our Comforter, and our Lord. i used to fall asleep at night, worrying about my wedding day and what i'd do because my dad wouldn't be there to walk me down the while. actually, in the last few years, that has been the one trigger: weddings. i see daughters, beaming and glowing in their wedding gown, swaying back and forth in the arms of their dads. and i miss him. most of the time, i just sit there, next to the dance floor, squeeze Travis' hand, and choke back the tears. i want to embrace that precious bride and her father and tell them that they are so lucky to have each other, and i want to remind her of how blessed she is to have her dad with her, at that moment, how fortunate she is to have that memory to hold on to. and i pray she will always cherish it.
now, less than 5 months away from my own wedding, i know that there will be an inevitable hole in our wedding day. people might wonder where he is, where he went. he won't be there to walk me down the aisle. there will be no father-daughter dance. but there will be one big family dance, i'm sure, as we celebrate the man who brought us all here and shaped us into who we are. we will miss him, and there will be a little heartache, but most of all, we will celebrate him and celebrate the life that we are so lucky to live. and i will pray that we each continue to live it to the fullest.
i hope you had kleenex nearby...sorry, i should have warned you.
so there i was, looking at those young seventh graders and i thought about even just one of them losing a parent at this moment in their life. and my heart broke over the thought. and then i realized that i was that girl. surrounded by friends, busy with my fun 12-year-old life, unaware that everything would change in just a few short days. and somehow, i survived. i went to school the day after the funeral, even though a lot of those memories are fuzzy now. maybe i was in shock. but we moved along and we continued living, remembering my dad's last words which i penned in my yellow pleather journal just days later...that we shouldn't cry or be sad, but that we should know without a doubt, that we would all see each other again one day.
more than anything, the last 9 years have taught me how good our God is, how Jesus sustains us, how His love is all we need. and He truly makes all things work out for our good.