Six years ago yesterday I let my student teacher take over the class so I could look at my friend’s wedding pictures on-line. Six years ago yesterday while I was looking at Celeste’s wedding pictures, there was a flurry of activity in the housing area. Six years ago yesterday my friend Brenda, our school nurse, ran out of a coffee break for the school track. Six years ago yesterday my friend Dave dropped over dead while he was running the track.
Six years ago yesterday I spent most of the day listening to kids pray for the healing of my dead friend; they didn’t know yet that he was gone. Six years ago yesterday I spent hours comforting kids as they processed his death. Six years ago yesterday I spent my last afternoon with a gaggle of African orphans teaching them about Jesus, yo-yo’s and remembering that life goes on and needs don’t cease in the face of grief.
Six years ago today my phone rang much too early in the morning. Six years ago today my friend and colleague was calling to tell me she wouldn’t be coming to school today—she thought we were having a coup. Six years ago today I had to call the elementary principal and her parents to say she was fine but not coming to campus—there was too much gunfire in front of her house. Six years ago today I had to call our director to make sure he knew there was a lot of fighting going on in town; he had already heard the gunfire. He probably didn’t sleep with a ceiling fan over his bed going at warp speed.
Six years ago today I wandered over to one of the satellite TVs whenever I had a break to read the crawl on the bottom of CNN. Six years ago today the crawl never said much other than we were having a coup d’etat. Six years ago today I spent a good chunk of the afternoon writing curriculum guides. Six years ago today we got ready for troops to come onto our campus looking for vehicles and money. Six years ago today my Blister and her Beau had their first date . . . at my house.
Six years ago today a chapter of my life started to close and I wasn’t fully aware of what was happening.
photo courtesy of Grant Hutchinson