Tag Archives: hope

Oh, Had I a Golden Thread

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My sweet little niece Jada was born last week.  She is sooooo pretty!  All I could do was stare at her delicate face as she slept.  Jada was also born with Down’s Syndrome.

A week before her mom went into labor the doctor informed them that there was a possibility the baby could have it and that her labor would likely be induced to prevent a stillbirth.  There was also a chance of her being born with deformities. After I heard the news I immediately prayed and asked others to pray with me. 

When they told me she was fine I felt relief.  I had to see for myself so we went to visit her as soon as I got home from work. And she looked perfect to me. She did not have the signs of a baby with this genetic disorder–no flaps of extra skin, the flattened nose, or the almond-shaped, droopy eyes.  I immediately thanked God.  Jazmine was sooooo excited and was talking a mile a minute as she paraded around the hospital room telling me all the things she was going to do with “her” Jada. 

A couple of days later the results came back and it was positive. My heart deflated like a balloon.  What in the world would those two do with a baby with mental challenges? I  already help them out a lot financially.  More importantly, how would they handle it emotionally? 

So I thanked God that she was at least born with life.  But this diagnosis still feels so heavy.  When her mom told me I didn’t know how to form my mouth to offer some comfort.  What do you say in a situation like this?  All I was able reply was that it was going to be okay and that they had my support. 

I asked her how they were coping.  She said “I’m okay with it, she’s still my baby girl.”  She said my brother had accepted it as well after a few tears.  At that moment I felt such utter gratitude and respect for them both.  I doubt that I would have welcomed the results with an ounce of their graciousness.  Jada is lucky to have parents who love her unconditionally.

Since then I have contacted the local Down’s Syndrome chapter and requested information for them, did some research for myself, and I plan on buying them a book for parents of children with this condition.  There is no way I can “fix” this so I did the only thing I know how to do–help them become informed.

However, I am still struggling with this. Why them?  We get so comfortable assuming that all children will be born completely healthy and that is not always the case. Now I must find the strength to pray that God may equip them both with knowledge, patience, and diligence required to raise a child with special needs.

Oh, Had I a Golden Thread (Eva Cassidy version)

Oh, had I a golden thread
And a needle so fine
I’d weave a magic strand
Of rainbow design
Of rainbow design

In it I’d weave the bravery
Of women giving birth
In it I’d weave the innocence
Of the children over all the earth
Children of all the earth

Far over the water,
I’d stretch my magic band
To every city,
To every single land
To every land

Show my brothers and my sisters
My rainbow design
Bind up this sorry world
With hand and heart and mind
Hand and heart and mind

Oh, had I a golden thread
And a needle so fine
I’d weave a magic strand
Of rainbow design
Of rainbow design

A Challenge

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I’ve been down and out for a long while now.  Depression, mourning, and simple hardships can really wear on one’s soul.  But today a thought crossed my mind–I have the choice to be positive about life.  It will be my challenge to find beauty in the piles of ashes.

One thing I have started doing is listing three things daily that I am grateful about.  I already have two for the day:

  • I made it to work on time/arrived safely
  • Nicholas is representing his school in the Geography Bee

And maybe one day soon, the tide will change for me.

After Winter…

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When I saw these budding green sprouts yesterday, it made me so happy! The weather is cold, the grass brown, and the sun shines only for a fleeting moment.  Everything seems so lifeless and barren.  But seeing this lovely burst of green was a gentle reminder that God has not forgotten about me.  This is His version of “picture mail! He designed spring to follow winter for a reason. Hallelujah!

Springing forward!

Springing forward!

A Leap of Faith

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I was offered the position at my alma mater which boasts an all-school magnet program in the arts and humanties.  As a student I was in both magnets and loved my high school.  One of the classes I am slated to teach is called “Novels” and I will be allowed to design my own curriculum for this particular class!

I have mixed emotions.  It will be hard to leave the dsyfunctional place I am currently at.  It is an evil I know.  At least four of my current colleagues are going with me, so I am not completely nostalgic about leaving.  But I am a little afraid and nervous to be in a new environment with a new boss and a new set of expectations.  I hope I am not jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. Wish me luck!

More Than a Conqueror

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“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. ” ~Romans 8:37

I first met her when I was in middle school.  We were not the best of friends.  Our journey continued on to high school.  We pretty much ignored each other.  Fate would have it that we would continue on to the same college.  Somehow we ended up talking casually being that we were both strangers in a strange land.  We having not stopped talking since. 

In 2005 she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I was shocked beyond words.  She was so young!!!  I felt so afraid for her and could not stop my tears from flowing.  But through her trials she never gave up.  She is the epitome of courage.

She has been a fount of strength for me in my time of sorrow.  I can’t even articulate how her support, love, and positivity have kept me afloat. 

And she is currently going through another bout of cancer.  Her faith could move mountains.  She is such an inspiration that I encouraged her to start a blog.  Because I know that her life and experiences will bless others and keep their spirits buoyed, too.

Beautiful Day

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My students and I are watching the inauguration.  My kids seem to have an opinion about everything!  This is a great moment in our history so I asked a few students to share with me how they felt.  Here’s what they had to say:

This is history!  We shouldn’t have to come to school ever again on this day!  ~Howard

It’s a new beginning.  ~Donte

I am happy to be alive to witness a Black man become president. ~Fernando

On November the 4th I realized that I could be anything.  There are no more excuses that can be made by anyone in this country.  Hope is alive! ~Brian

It’s a beautiful thing.  I really want to shed a tear.  (two seconds later) I mean I’m happy to have a Black president and all, but really it’s not that deep! ~Iesha

I think he will make things better for all Americans. ~Ashley

I don’t know what to think! I can’t even express the way I feel. ~Dasha

I hope he will make college more affordable. ~Makailya

It’s amazing! ~Maurice

Barack O’bama is a rock star! ~Dashae

He has set a standard for Black people. ~Montice

Awesome!~Miles

My only wish is that my lost loved ones were here to witness the day with me.

Live Through This

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2008 has been quite a year for me.  I never imagined that I would lose both my mother and my husband in the same year.  But as painful, terrifying, and debilitating as it is, I know I will make it.  The truth of the matter is that we can live without lost loved ones even when our carnal flesh feels we can’t.

If that wasn’t the case I would have died my first death when my grandmother died in 1994.

And again when my uncle died in 2001.

And again when my great-aunt died in 2002.

And again when my aunt died in 2004.

And I would have died twice this year alone.

I was very close to each one of them.

Yet I’m still here.  I have had many comatose moments in the pit of despair since he’s been gone.   I am crawling out of it at a snail’s pace.   At my lowest points I feel that I can’t go on.  However, I know these thoughts are strictly from the devil.  He wants me to believe that I can’t exist without him which spawns depression and suicidal thoughts.  But the devil is a liar.

No matter what you are going through, and I can guarantee that you will go through something in the year to come, just remember you can make it!  I hope to grow and learn from my trials .  What else is there to do?  Eventually I hope to use my testimony to help other widows and stepmoms through this difficult time.  And as long as I am alive, I have a chance to do this.  I have lived through a lot of strife in my short time. You can, too!

I hope everyone has a blessed year in 2009!

Obama Mama

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When Nicholas was in the third grade he had to select a famous Black American to represent in a “living history museum” for Black History month.  He wanted to do Colin Powell…again. 

I had just finished reading Dreams From My Father by Senator Barack Obama and was really impressed with his candor and eloquence.   I suggested him. 

After doing the research Nicholas was impressed as well.  His presentation was a big hit.  Later his teacher pulled me aside and expressed her curiousity about how Nicholas came to present him.  I told her that I recommended him after reading his autobiography.

I am excited about Obama coming to office.  I believe he is truly dedicated to the job of making America better for us all.  This simple act of Americans joining together to vote him as president shows that anything is possible.  I know that he will be under a lot of scutiny, but I believe he can handle the pressure.  He deserves the same opportunity as anyone else to do the job.

My focus is not so much on him being the first Black president.  That fact is the cherry on top and it makes his victory much more sweeter.  However, I am more buoyed by his poise, plans for America, intelligence, and great potential to lead the country.

Nicholas attends a school in which there is not a single person of color on the teaching or administrative staff.  In fact, there are only two Black women in non-licensed positions that work there.  The student body is very diverse, so it seems that the staff would mirror this.  It seems strange to me that in this day and age that places/schools/attitudes like this still exist.  I often wonder what message this sends to my son and the rest of the kids? 

I feel fortunate that my son has the opportunity to witness someone such as Barack having the opportunity to be president.  I have always told Nicholas that he could be anything he wanted to be.  Now I know he can!  This morning his was elated by the knowledge of Barack’s win.  So was I.

Welcome Back!

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Day 1: What a day it has been! Today was my first day of school.  It was a day of mass confusion and overall craziness.  A fight took place as soon as the doors opened.  Many of the kids were resentful to be back at school already.  I could hear Pink Floyd singing:

We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.

Day 5:  Not much has changed from day one.  I have a class of 67 with a room that contains 30 desks!  We have masses of students who do not have a schedule, therefore it is safe to conclude that my other classes will swell as well. 

The majority of the students do not have lockers or ID’s.  Only a handful have text books.

We have a new ridiculously long lesson plan template that has already garnered over 300 complaints with the union.

We have a new principal who has his hands full.

We have added grades 7-8.  We also have a group of “under/over” students in grades 5 and 6.  They are ages 15-16 years old.

My back is strained terribly from lifting boxes, hauling the 70 literature and grammar tomes for my classroom set, and removing desks that were stacked on top of each other.  I mean seriously, I had to stay reclined over the weekend because my back felt so terrible.

Information and communication is not flowing very well between administration and teachers.  We are often told about things the morning of.  Case in point, I was told the day before school started that I was scheduled to teach a section of etymology. Had I known about this in advance, I could have spent time in the summer creating lessons for this provocative subject.  But no, that would have been too convenient for me!

I feel exhausted already!

But I still can see silver linings:

  • I have a helpful resource teacher for period 1
  • I have a job that I am healthy enough to attend daily
  • I have a fair amount of students who seem eager to learn
  • Yesterday a student gifted me with a composition notebook that she picked up specifically for me!
  • I am in a remodeled classroom
Welcome!

Welcome!

My bulletin boards, I reserved one for student work

My bulletin boards, I reserved one for student work

I love my dry erase boards!

I love my dry erase boards!

Reading, my favorite sport!

Reading, my favorite sport!

Anne Bradstreet’s “The Flesh and The Spirit”

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Be still, thou unregenerate part,
Disturb no more my settled heart,
For I have vowed (and so will do)
Thee as a foe still to pursue,
And combat with thee will and must
Until I see thee laid in th’ dust.
Sister we are, yea twins we be,
Yet deadly feud ‘twixt thee and me,
For from one father are we not.
Thou by old Adam wast begot,
But my arise is from above,
Whence my dear father I do love.
Thou speak’st me fair but hat’st me sore.
Thy flatt’ring shews I’ll trust no more.
How oft thy slave hast thou me made
When I believed what thou hast said
And never had more cause of woe
Than when I did what thou bad’st do.
I’ll stop mine ears at these thy charms
And count them for my deadly harms.
Thy sinful pleasures I do hate,
Thy riches are to me no bait.
Thine honours do, nor will I love,
For my ambition lies above.

Everyday I fight temptation to do what I know is right…I don’t always win!!!