In the dark, I sit in my room; lamps glowing on the newly white walls. This week I will sell my house to someone new. I love this house; it has been a wonderful 5.5 years here and I will miss it.
In the dark, I sit in my room and reflect on this year of growth, learning, and heartache. I think about how heart broken I am on the one hand, and grateful on the other. How is it possible to have both?
The other day I had to send a child to the mental hospital. She became so upset that she cut herself and made herself bleed and she rubbed blood all over her face and hands and she looked like a doll or as if she was wearing a mask. She required sedation three times before she left campus and two more times in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Someone asked me afterward what I was thinking about when it was happening and I didn’t know the answer.
After that happened I went on a walk to the park that is down the street from the school. It was a beautiful spring day and, as I walked, I began to notice flowers and spring leaves: neon green baby spring leaves. I arrived at the park and smiled and felt the wind flow around me; it was almost saying to me, “don’t worry as you are on your way away from here, I am carrying you away”. I could see the ocean in my mind’s eye and smell the salt air. I smiled and realized how much I love that park and all of its trees and the way its gravel always gets into my shoes somehow. When Oscar was a little puppy this was where I trained him to walk on a leash. This is where I ran into Paola the custodian who retired (she walks each day).
On Friday I had a meeting with the director of Special Education and she was very angry with us and criticized us and told us we would get used to these things and disassociate with time and experience. She mentioned the importance of running through scenarios with the team so that we could know what better to do next time. I looked at her as if she was insane, remembering my morning the day before and thinking there was no way in hell I would ever run through that scenario with anyone except the people who happened to be there at that one, specific moment. She mentioned that when she was lifeguarding this is what she would do with the other guards to anticipate things happening. I sat there, in my mind saying “lifeguarding?” and asked, over and over, for help, training, ideas, solutions. I was batting zero.
I love this beautiful place. I have loved it every day for 5.5 years and now it is on its way to becoming someone else’s and I can just sit here, remembering, feeling the heartbreak and hearing the song and understanding it is two sides to the same coin of life. There is pain and gratitude: bewilderment and truth all at the same time.