When we first learned about this I walked around in a fog- I tried to make it through my grad school Christmas party, gossiping about who the good professors were & how to best get through their classes, yet somehow following the conversations. How could someone so little and so magical be so sick?
Yesterday around nine thirty the first flakes started to fall and in the midst of all the kindergarten squeals of delight all I could think was, "this better not interfere with getting to the hospital to visit Magical!" Usually I am leading the snow dance.
Partner-in-crime had our class hurriedly make cards for him and we rushed off, braving the snow & the drivers in our area who seem to panic at the first snow flake. As we approached the door to his room we could hear his happy voice chatting away with the nurse, and as we entered we were greeted by his happy squeal of, "My teachers!"
Wow, I love that kid.
He ignored the gifts we'd brought him but analyzed the pictures his friends drew- "they miss me?" he asked, over and over. "They miss me?"
"I am not there" he told us, "I am not there. I am in the "not here" chart. I am not in my class. I am lost."
When we got up to leave, explaining we had to make sure the kids all go home safely since it was a two-hour delay he looked straight at Partner-in-Crime and said, "You need to go back to my friends! You need to be in class!" wanting to make sure his friends were taken care of too.
Seeing him all happy and perky was a magnificent gift, but I still cannot get him and his illness out of my mind. Partner-in-crime and I are both still like ghosts, our bodies walking around but we're not really in them. How can any of this be true? How can we return to our happy children in class pretending everything is going to be ok? And we feel all of this for a child we've known for 4 months. Our crippling agony of knowing he is sick is nothing compared to his family's. I've felt sorrow like this for children before- homeless children, or abused children. I've felt the sick-to-my-stomach-can't-have-a-conversation-depression for children but many times I can put my angry toward someone- the abuser- the landlord who faked legal documents that led to the family being ousted from housing- even child services when they don't remove a child from the home before something horrid occurs. But in this case my anger has nowhere to go. Sickness happens.
Today we have a two-hour delay and I hope by the time the children hike to school, knocking the snow off their shoes and giggling about snow men, sledding, and their snow-adventures simply reaching the school door I'll have my kindergarten-happy face on. For now all I can ask is to keep Magical and his family in your prayers!
Oops- Magpie, I accidentally deleted your comment- what I get from managing comments with cold fingers on an itouch. Thank you for your thoughts!
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