“Mom, are you awake?” inquired my daughter last night as she peeked into my room.
“Yes. I am awake”. I replied.
“Dad was right. Gwen was here.”
And with that last pronouncement, she plopped a package on my bed and sat down with both myself and the package.
“What is that, Katya?” I inquired.
She opened the package and pulled out a card. “It’s from Gwen, Mom. The card reads: Take each day one step at a time and time will take care of the rest.”
How true. Time does take care of a lot of things. It certainly does heal emotional wounds – I was hoping that may just apply to physical wounds too.
Next, from the package, Katya pulled out a book. The title of the book read, “ish”.
My friend Gwen has been in my life for many years now. I met here the very first year I started teaching (1990 ish). She and I were young, keen, and green French teachers. We bonded almost immediately and helped support one another through our challenges and our victories with French. At that time, Barrie was a little city with a bad attitude towards French. Anti-language signs had popped up all over the place in protest of this newly mandated French language requisite in schools. Gwen was the kind of friend that broke into our house when Kevin and I were in the hospital having just given birth to our first boy, Ben. She broke in to bake muffins. The aroma from the muffins would ensure a “welcome home” smell for us with our new baby. Yup. And the rest of Gwen’s actions were pretty much equally thoughtful. She would never be the centre of attention – at times you would not even know she was around. But our lives have always been richer for her friendship. We have always know she was there.
Gwen is now a librarian at her elementary school where she spreads her joy of reading and books to many of her young students. Thank God she is there. Thank God there are teachers in the “system” like Gwen.
“Ish” was the first thing I read when I got up this morning. It is a story about a little boy, Ramon, who loved to draw. He had a passion for drawing. One day his big brother stood over Ramon’s shoulder and criticized the drawing he was making. Ramon crumpled the paper and refused to draw anymore. Just then, Ramon’s little sister came rushing to his side and snatched the crumpled paper away – raced to her room. In hot pursuit of the sister, Ramon chased her to the entrance of her room where he found all of his crumpled drawings lovingly displayed on her walls.
“The vase does not look like a vase”, Ramon pronounced.
“No, but it is vase-ish. And the pony is pony-ish.”
That was good enough for Ramon who then indulged his passion for drawing once again. Ramon felt free with this new permission to be “ish”. He even began to write. He wrote “poetry – ish”. The book describes best what happened next. “One spring morning, Ramon had a wonderful feeling. It was a feeling that even ish words and ish drawings could not capture. He decided not to capture it. Instead, he simply savored it…”
In so many ways, today, I can connect with Ramon. I wonder if the doctors this morning will remind me of the older brother and discourage me or will they remind me of the younger sister and encourage me? All in all – I guess I need to remember that it is “how” I take the news that is the most important. The news may be good or even good-ish news. Treatment may even be treatment-ish.
I will, however, take one step at a time and time will take care of the rest. Whatever the rest will be.