Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sometimes, you just have to cry

As I went to bed last night, I was thinking of the meeting I am scheduled to have first thing this morning with Mr. Bigwig Lawyer. To begin with, he is very defensive about this meeting even being scheduled. He operates well with his head in the sand. But I have things to tell him that he can not afford to miss. Namely, his wife is not going to be allowed on my campus after the fiasco that followed when she showed up high on who know what trying to check out their daughter. The child was not released to the parent. The resulting scenario wasn't pretty - but I have to keep all children safe no matter what kind of car they drive or how much money is in their checking account. It's what I do. I look out for kids.

As I climbed in the bed to read and hope that my mind wouldn't keep me up all night playing out different imagined conversations, the phone rang. It was my sister. From the moment I heard her voice, I knew something was wrong. My sister and I are only a year apart. We were often mistaken for twins when we were growing up. No matter what life throws our way, we've learned to be strong. And when we need to cry, we call each other.

Through the tears and the gasping for breath as she tried to get the words out, she told me that a friend of ours was just diagnosed with Stage 4 Ovarian cancer. This friend has two children who attend my school. They are only in 1st and 3rd grade. My mind was reeling.

How could this be? Just a couple of years ago, this friend had a hysterectomy. All they left behind were her ovaries. How the hell is it fair for the only part of the reproductive system left behind to be riddled with cancer. And they already know the cancer is in her lymph nodes. The current prognosis is grim.

Maybe I sound like I've lost hope before we even give any treatments a chance. But my sister and I know what kind of thief cancer can be. He struck out at our father and took him from us when he was only 36. He didn't care that young children would be left behind. Cancer is ruthless that way.

Today, I will need to tell the teachers. I know I'll cry. But I'll say all the right things.... We'll be there to support the kids..... Let's organize some folks to bring in food for the family... We need to include the counselor so she can be aware of the situation.

We'll rally around them. And when I see the kids, I'll smile and hug them. And when the time is right, I'll admit to them I'm scared.

16 comments:

only a movie said...

Cancer sucks. I will be thinking of you today.

Today our librarian is coming back for the first time since before Christmas. Her daughter died from an aneurysm on the 29th of Dec. Totally unexpected, of course. I am thinking about how I can get through the day w/out losing it. How to gently remind my students not to make a big deal about the librarian being gone for all this time...

Good luck, Beth!

Sunny said...

Oh my! Cancer doesn't care much for anything, but itself. I lost two relatives because of it and one more relative managed to survive.

It's tough to seem brave and fun-loving working with kids. Good luck.

dizzblnd said...

oh wow! You are all in my prayers. Hugs to you

Deb said...

oh beth... i am sorry. i am sending you strength and good vibes your way!

Kulio said...

ohhhh...what a day you have today. Take care of yourself - eat something good, and close your eyes, head on desk, for a "moment" of peace if you can. It's only when you take care of yourself that you can be as strong as you need to be today. Peace to you.

Ann's Rants said...

Life goes on and then something just slaps you so hard across the face. So sorry to hear this news. Don't know you well, but know you will handle sharing this news (and the effing lawyer) with grace.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Will be thinking of you all day. We have a professional development day today and our admin and curriculum staff are in flux, lots of gross politics going on, and well, I was feeling ucky about work. Then I read this and realized my problems are minor.

Cancer sucks.

Just B said...

I am so sorry to hear about your friend. I hope today's meeting went well, too. Hang in there--you are doing amazing things.

bernthis said...

it is amazing how things can turn on a dime. My ex is a recovering alcoholic,, again, and I had to tell his teachers that if he shows up drunk not release our kid. He has been sober over 4 years now but I worry all the time when he will fall off, again and think it's okay, again, to go and drive our kid around.

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. Cancer is evil and seems to take so many good people with it.

Sarah's Blogtastic Adventures said...

Oh God! How terrible. Cancer is a thieving bitch. She is iin my prayers.

Hopefully your meeting with the lawyer goes smoothly too.

HeatherPride said...

My heart breaks for you and for those kids! I'm so sorry. I lost a dear friend to cancer last summer and I think about her all the time. I will keep your friend in my prayers and hope for the best.

Kristina P. said...

I will be praying for her family, Beth.

Vodka Mom said...

cancer's a ruthless unforgiving bitch. However, there are angels as well- who are holding her and her family in their arms right now.

amy said...

this is terrible, beth. terrible and sad. i've lost a grandfather to bone cancer and a friend to throat cancer. i can't think of anybody i know who hasn't been touched in some form or another by it.

i'll send lots of light and love to your friend and her children.

and i hope mr. bigwig lawyer gets his head out of the sand. i once conducted a parent/teacher conference with a parent i highly suspect was 40% drunk. it wasn't pleasant, but it explained a lot.

Threeboys1mommy said...

High mom angers me.
Cancer angers me.
The fact that teachers don't make as much as bigwig douche bag infuriates me.

This is heartbreaking Beth, I can't imagine.

anymommy said...

I have no good words. I'm sorry. I hope my kids have someone like you at their school.