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.