I remember where we were when you were offered your first teaching job. In Boone after a friend's wedding. Our first born almost a year old with a new one due December.
I wanted to be with you on your last day of teaching in the classroom.
I wanted to document the last-last day when you turned in your school keys.
So, I followed you around like a puppy.
I can not find the right words that would portray-paint your teaching journey. If I could paint, there would be vibrant neon streaks, soft pastels, dark blue-black splotches here and there, the colors of the time between times, slow lines, a few doodles-squiggles...
How can I paint creative-silliness?- a menagerie of wigs,hats and caps?
Standing on your head when all homework is turned in, there goes the imaginary dragon whenever there were noises in the hallway or coming through the wall, talking to the class in a Marvin Martian voice, a southern gentleman's drawl, a proper British accent?
How can I paint prayer? Praying for each student by name. I know you prayed for God's guidance and help in the classroom.
How can I paint the times your heart was heavy for students and families going through hard times?
How can I paint frustrations with "the system"? You loved teaching. You loved the students. The system was draining. You told me that as we sat on the porch listening to the rain the very day you turned in your school key.
You have a shepherd's heart. I have watched you in action over these thirty-four years.
As Mr D's wife. Mrs D. I have been encouraged and convicted many times watching you interact with students, parents, staff~~to not answer a matter before you hear the other person's view~~ "they may going through something ya never know." Compassion.
When you read this you may think I'm sounding all flowery. 😊 You did have those blue-black color splotch days ~~~ sad, frustrated, emotional, tired ~~~
I didn't mention all the after-school hours you gave. I know, I know, You would answer..."I'm just doing my job." That is what you said when I asked if I could give you a retirement dinner, or get together. You said NO. "Why should I have a party for doing my job?"
There have been five others, besides me, that have been part of this journey. Josiah Abran, Jesse Luke, Emma Elisabeth, David Jacob, Anna Rebekah. How can I paint what you have poured in to this canvas? No words but one come to mind. Love. How can you paint love?
Let's start with some doodles I found in a notebook.
Following David Around~ Last Day With Students
I thought this was something to put in the trash pile. You explained to me that the name of Jesus watched over your classroom written in Arabic abstractly hidden away. One of the last things to come down. Marvin Martian watching out on the other side of the room. Marvin Martian has watched over a many a classroom.
Last Day On the Job Follow Around
I saw this book, made by this years class, laying on a table. They rightly quoted David. The beginning of each school year he told the class what is stated below. Instead of buying me a teacher gift.....
A couple of board pointers
Student drawing of the imaginary dragon
Found some lunch containers... Hummm
That personal stuff bottom drawer
Faded photos that have traveled on his desk, grade to grade year to year.
Checking the room to make sure everything is out
Think that's all.
Nope. Forgot to take down the slinky. The slinky is something else that has traveled classroom to classroom year after year with David. Just hanging there.
Our private deck retirement toast. Listening to the rain on a metal roof. So, tell me. How are you feeling. What's going on inside?