Saturday, September 25, 2010

beginings and endings

I haven't posted in a while so I doubt this will be short.

Over labor day weekend I went back to Colorado to visit with my dad and mom. I was sad to find my dad had gone downhill in a few weeks. I took him to radiation and chemo and stayed awake till 2 or 3 am each night sitting with him while he tried to nap through the discomfort, the anxiety and the difficult breathing that the tumor in his lungs was creating. I feel pained remembering him laying in his hospital bed in the middle of the living room taking deep, struggling breaths. I kept thinking to myself, "this is so unfair." Unfair that my dad was "healthy" less then two months ago, unfair that when I left two weeks earlier he seemed like he would be ok for a long time, unfair that my dad would be suffering with cancer, unfair that he would die at 63, unfair that he would never meet his grandchildren or play golf again or go eat bar-b-q or go fly fishing, on and on it's not fair.

Despite his decreased health my mom, my dad and I though (or were in denial) that it would be ok for me to go start the school year for two weeks and then come back home.

I few back to Oregon on Monday night and cried. I got up on Tuesday morning and Wednesday and taught my middle school classes and helped get the kinders and 1st get settled in. On Thursday morning at 5:30am my mom called in tears. My dad had died in his sleep.

I now know what it means to be in shock. All I could manage to say was, "oh." Shock is to be numb.

My husband told me not to go to work, but I felt so numb and disconnected to the fact that my dad had died that I went anyway. I told my principal and vice principal who both got watery eyes on my behalf. They told me to go home. I said I wanted to be the one who told my students. I had to leave sub plans.

I told my middle school students. A few cried for me, a few cried for their own lost friends and family, we talked about why my dad had died, how I would be gone and I honestly answered their questions about how I was feeling. I told them it did not feel very real. I spent the next day getting ready to leave, preparing a two weeks worth of sub plans and finding someone who could be in my classroom that long.

Thank god for Sparrow. She was amazing. She was the first face my K-5th students saw this year for art and she did a great job getting them started.

I returned to work this past Wednesday and am trying to get my brain in the game but everything feels slow and foggy. It still feels like my dad is not really gone and that I'm watching this series of events happen to someone else. I think my art posts will be more sporadic for a while.

Please keep in mind that the reason I keep this blog is to record the lessons I'm doing and have a place to journal about teaching in a urban art room. I love seeing what other art teachers are doing and I support art education anywhere in any form.

We already work in a job area where people question our validity and we lack support, lets support each other; not tear each other down. Judge not least ye be judge....aka if you don't have something nice to say to me....move on along and I will show you the same courtesy.