I thought about combining this with my "a year ago" post for the day, but I feel like this deserves it's own post.
I currently teach at a local community college. I struggled with whether I should tell my students about Marcellus or not. At first I didn't know if I should tell my students or not. I didn't spring semester when I went back. And it actually came back to hurt me a bit. My reviews were not good and they said things like "She was overwhelmed," "she was disconnected from the students." If my students had known about Marcellus they would have realized those things had nothing to do with my teaching. That yes, I was those things, but it was because my baby had died only months earlier. When October came I could feel some of those things coming back. I could feel it getting hard for me to put on my "teacher face" everyday and pretend I had everything completely under control. With Marcellus's birthday coming up I figured I should tell them. Let them know if I do seem out of it, if my teaching does slip a bit, it's not them. It's not because I don't care about teaching. October also being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month gave me an introduction into that too. And so a few weeks ago I told them about my boy. I honestly didn't get that strong of a reaction from them. Only a few students said something to me after class. That's not why I was telling them anyway, I wasn't telling them for their sympathy. I just needed to share my boy with them.
Then today, after class three of my students came up to me. The had a pan of cupcakes, but I didn't think anything of it. Just figured they were for someone else. I had also told the class that they could come up to me after class to get their grade to date, so I had a line of students for that. I figured these three students where coming to me for that as well.
But no, those cupcakes were for me! They said they wanted to do something for my son's birthday. The remembered that it was on Sunday and they thought about how it would be hard for me. They all three gave me a hug. It took everything I had not to start bawling my eyes out right there. They also gave me a card. I didn't read it then because I still had another class to teach and didn't want to be crying. I just opened it and want to share the beautiful words three of my wonderful students wrote to me.
"We wanted to take this time to say thank you for sharing your heart breaking story about your baby boy. We are terribly sorry for your loss. Thank you for being such a strong teacher and being with us each and every day that you can. We also would like to take the time to say happy birthday to your son and congrats on your new bundle of joy coming soon. We wish you and your family the best of luck."
"Like (previous student) said, thanks for being here and teaching this wonderful material that is sometimes hard to grasp. But nevertheless, you are AMAZING! It takes a strong woman to do what you are doing. Thanks for everything again."
" 'An angel in the book of earth wrote down my baby's birth, and whispered as she closed the book, 'too beautiful for earth.' '
This can be the only reason for such an amazing boy to leave, for he truly must be amazing with you as his mother. I sat forever thinking of what to write, eventually realizing no words are adequate. All I can say is he will never be forgotten or as loved because he was blessed to have you as a mom. We are thinking of you, him and your family."
I'm just sitting here in awe of this. I had no idea my baby boy and I were impacting these three ladies so much. Each day they come to class and here me lecture about statistics. But each day they come and they see me not only as their instructor, but as a mommy...as his mommy. I don't know if they remember his name or not, but that doesn't matter. They remember that I told them about him. They remembered his birthday. They remembered. That all means so very much to me. He touched their lives. And I am blessed to be the mommy to such an amazing baby boy. Of course it hurts that he is not here. It will always hurt. But I am still thankful to be his mommy, still thankful I can share him with others. I am still thankful for him. Everyday I thank God for my son (and then curse at Him for taking him away...but that's a whole other thing).
So thank you dear students. Thank you for remembering him. Thank you for honoring him. Thank you for celebrating him. Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and for showing me such compassion. You three are truly amazing!
Marcellus, Momma had some yummy cupcakes today that were made just for you! Made by three of my students who only just know a very little about your life. But that little bit, just knowing of your existence is enough to have touched them. You've touched them my love, just as you have touched the lives of many. You make me so proud! Love always sweet boy! xoxox