Archive for November, 2014

Close to Home

This week Chloe’s school has had a very scary, sickening chain of events. Evil and grossness and vile intent have hit way too close to home.

Read the story here.

The teenager was a classmate of Chloe’s. For 13 weeks, a pedophile sat in class, posing as someone he was not. With the sole purpose of gathering new, innocent, young victims.

Sickness.

Our elementary school community is devastated.

And our family was forced to have some really yucky conversations that no parent should have to have with their children. Conversations that no child should have to listen to, respond to, or think about.

The chances of Chloe being involved in any wrong-doing is slim to none since she has an aide with her most of the school day. But still the ugliness and the knowledge of such close evil has been a very hard pill to swallow.

We are left feeling vulnerable and violated.

Fear has found a way into our home. It has crept in and sneaks into our thoughts. And it fuels our imagination which, in turn, feeds the growing fear.

We wonder what else and who else are not what they seem. It’s pretty hard not to go there with your thoughts.

While the world went about its ways today, it was hard for our school community and our family to think about anything else.

It’s not fair that our children have to think on such things. It’s not fair that the school counselor had to spend her day talking to frightened students and parents.

At Elliot’s school, he was surprised that the topic only came up once. It was in his computer science class. Someone mentioned it, but the teacher was unaware of the grueling story. So the teacher pulled up the news story on his computer, and the class watched the news story together.

During the news story, Elliot said some of the students were laughing about it. They somehow found the deception and evil humorous. Elliot was appalled and spoke up about it. He explained with emotion that it’s not funny — “for 13 weeks my little sister sat in class with a pedophile!”

But maybe until you feel it close to home, it’s not real enough to be serious– at least to a roomful of high school students.

And tonight, life goes on. Hopefully victims are receiving comfort, teachers and administrators are having a good cry and a break from the media and the outraged public.

And hopefully time (and God) will do its work on lessening wounds and memories.

And what will likely remain and outshine the nastiness is the power and strength in community. In family.

A Birthday Celebration

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A birthday is certainly cause for balloons.

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Today was my dad’s first birthday since he died 4 months ago.

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The kids and I commemorated by writing love notes on balloons.

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“Happy Birthday!”

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“I love you!”

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“I miss you!”

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“I wish you were here!”

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“HBD”

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“I love you, Papa!”

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We took them outside….

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And then we counted down. 3-2-1-Go!

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And set the balloons off up to heaven.

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Happy birthday, Papa!

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We love you!

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Just … Forever Ago

Four months ago today, I prank called my dad when I called to wish my mom a happy birthday. Faking a weird accent, I asked to speak to the birthday girl. He didn’t understand my words and asked me to repeat them. I repeated them, but my accent mixed with my fighting back laughter made him unable to understand me. He declared that he could not understand what I said, apologized, and hung up on me before I could identify myself.

Later when I called back and confessed that I was actually the accented caller, we both laughed and laughed. “You got me! You sure got me!” he kept saying, tickled at himself for not knowing it was his own daughter being silly. He couldn’t wait to tell Mom the story. He got such a kick out of it.

After we laughed about the prank call, he told me he loved me, called me Baby, and hung up the phone.

It would be the last conversation I ever had with my dad.

The last “I love you, Baby.”

The last shared laughter.

And one last memory of a man I love very much.

It seems like an eternity ago. But it seems like just last week. How can that be?

It was the last time I heard his voice. And as usual, he made sure to let me know that he loved me, that he’s my greatest fan, that he believed in me, that he enjoyed me, … that he thought I was funny.

So many times in the last 4 months, I’ve wanted to call him to tell him about what’s going on. I’ve yearned to talk to him, knowing he would have some advice or encouragement for me. I’ve missed his too-loud smooch in my ear each time I leave Mom and Dad’s house.

I miss that man.

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