Private Club

I didn't know how I would feel entering this specific month.  It is the month of many things.  In our family, it is the month we celebrate my dad's birthday. This year this month represents an exact year of my mom being diagnosed with breast cancer and being cancer FREE. These two amazing milestones calls for our family to celebrate, because our parents are healthy and we have another year of being blessed with them in our lives.

The debby-downer of this month though, that day was yesterday.  October 15th is marked for Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  To husband and I, October 15 of last year was the exact day we had a miscarriage.  It has been one year.  One year that my heart felt broken.  That we were surprised with a blessing, but a temporary one.  This still and quiet brokenness then makes a quick left turn to anger at what I personally and spiritually feel was the cause and root.  To not let this anger control or consume me, I quickly whisper asking God to remove that anger, soften my heart and give me peace.  It is all I can do.  The morning started off at the gym, it is the perfect remedy to let out all the feelings and boy did I let them out at in my cycle class.  

While I wanted to just have quiet time, read, write, sip tea, etc... The day was anything but that. Then throw in The Dodgers huge playoff game last night, I guess the day was a helpful distraction to my heart and mind.  My husband and I didn't say much about the topic, and I was thankful for the stress and feelings of disappointment he had over the game because I'd rather he have those feelings than of the brokenness from last year.

Overall I would say we are very positive and optimistic.  The sadness that pops up throughout the year.  The brokenness and hurt we feel knowing we would have had a child to carry and stroll, our home filled a little extra, accidentally stepping on musical baby toys in the middle of the night when the baby is finally sound asleep, the dogs having an extra loved one to protect, and being able to make the coming holidays more special...aside from the many experiences we could be sharing, we have hope through and through. And I'm thankful for humor and laughter, because we've had many moments of pure laughter, smiles and happiness - little sprinkles to mend the wound and heal.

While we have faith it makes me sad to read and hear from other women (moms) in this special club who lost faith.  Some hate God.  Some are going through a very tough time, tougher than what my husband and I experienced in mourning and grieving.  And then there are women, like me, who question ourselves if it is okay to morn or if we are done mourning and are we really better, if not will it ever get better?  My heart hurts specifically for those who lash out in anger because I felt that, too.  My anger was not at God but at certain people.

Today, I write to the moms who have baby angels looking over you and who are waiting to meet you one day.  Let us build each other up.  Let us support one another.  Let us not grow bitter nor angry.  Let us soak in each and every feeling because there will be new members of this special and intimate club as each day goes by.  Let us embrace them and give them that giant bear hug, the one we all wanted to collapse into during our moment of brokenness.  Let us teach them to ignore the comments of, "miscarriages happen all the time" "some don't even know they were pregnant and had a miscarriage" and the comments can go on because they do not understand and will never understand.  Let us also feel that it is OK to grieve and to own each feeling that goes through our heart.  We are not sensitive.  We are not over-emotional.  We are moms who simply miss their child, we lost a part of our future before it even began and we have a piece of our heart in heaven.  We may hold a secret remembrance on the day of each year of the childs birth (or estimated birth date).  We might even light a candle the evening of October 15th to be one with moms all across the world.  We might do many other things.  And it is all OKAY.  

To the moms who lost faith.  I simply pray you regain that faith and that anger towards God diminishes. God is a God of good.  He is a loving God.  A God who sees every tear and every pain we endure.  He knows how many hairs on our head.  Now for one to know how many hairs I have on my head, must be from someone who thinks I'm so important to him that He knows every single detail about me.  God uses pain, hurt, brokenness and turns it around for the good. This pain and heartache has turned into a beautiful blessing for my husband and I, we are able to share, cope, cry, grieve, mourn and sympathize with so many.  Being able to share the hope and to love on others through their time in sorrow is more than I could have imagined from God.  It is a complete blessing.  October 15th of 2014, when we faced our sorrow, one of my dearest friends was there to help pick me-up and told me it is okay to feel every emotion.  I thank her.  For what she herself experienced, she in turn helped me cope. Nothing ever goes in vain, even the most saddest and hurtful ones.

There is and will always be hope.

To all the moms in the world, I love you and I am completely blessed to be in this special club with you.

Moment of Clarity

Five years ago, I began my career as an elementary school teacher. It was the highlight of my life, to not only get my own classroom, but now I was in charge of my very own students. Excitement turned into, “what did I just get myself into?” It was early October and my first day of teaching, school was well underway as it started early September. At the time, there were 3 first grade classrooms and teachers; I was now hired temporarily to be the 4th. So, our principal walks me into the first- 1st grade classroom that was currently in session, she began with a speech talking to the kids and preparing them for what was about to happen. What was about to happen? They were about to be forced out of their decorated classroom and familiar classmates that they’ve been with for about a month and being transferred to a rookie teacher, in an empty classroom and unfamiliar classmates. The principals speech got them excited to join me instead of dreading the transition, she said the right words a 1st grader needed to hear. We walked into all 3 first grade classrooms and pulled 6-7 students from each as they were over crowded, the reason I was hired.

So now, I have 20+ students following me around to the other side of the school and we come into my classroom. They take their seats at an empty desk, they look up at me and I’m just standing there looking back at them. I remember saying to myself “ok, what do I do now?” This was the first day of my teaching career and it has been nothing short of a continuous blessing from God. Every year, I receive a new batch of kids but my 1st class will always be close to my heart because they turned my fear into extreme joy and the reason why I continued with this career.

As a K-5 school, 2015 was the year my first class would be graduating and leaving us. Below is a photo (a Sandlot movie style) of myself and some of the kids from that class, that remained at our school. I did my best to hold back tears while I told them how special they were to me and thanked them for being a part of my life. These students represent my moment of clarity and I am beyond grateful that I was able to freeze this moment in time.

I am often asked why I became a teacher. The common answer could be "to inspire and change lives." This is true but it goes a bit deeper than that. The real reason was to bring an awareness to the possibilities that life has to offer. My purpose is to bring this awareness during the early stages (elementary school). The things or qualities I felt I lacked as a kid, is what I try to bring to light for these students. For example, I was a pretty shy kid and this stunted many relationships and opportunities as I got older. If I see a shy student in my class, I do my very best (strategically) to break them out of that habit by the end of the year. This is why I feel God called me to teach, to give these students a better start to life. He placed me in this specific community to have an impact on these specific kids.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

I believe we're all called to be/do something great, as Jeremiah 29:11 promises. The plan and calling is there but it's up to us to follow that plan and to answer that call. Purpose is such a beautiful thing, when you align yourself and walk with God, He will bless you with many beautiful moments such as your moment of clarity. Your moment of clarity is when you look back at all the moments that conspired to work together and lead you to where you're standing today. From this point forward, do not waste another moment missing your clarity and purpose. Take that call, take that leap. Just as in the movie Pursuit of Happiness, starring Will Smith. I always get a knot at my throat at the end scene, you know the part when he gets hired []. He runs out of the building and starts jumping up and down on the sidewalk, that is filled with the hustle and bustle of people, he was having his moment of happiness but also his moment of clarity. Let us all strive for that moment.