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Today was the absolute hardest day of my teaching career. I didn’t want to come to work today. I didn’t really want to get out of bed.  

For those of you who will read this from outside our precious community I’ll explain briefly. We lost a dear friend to a tragic car accident over the weekend. A friend who truly cared about those around her. A friend who loved deeply and meant what she said. A friend who supported, fought for, and stayed true to her beliefs. A fellow teacher who made those around her feel cared about every single day.  

I did get out of bed and I did walk into that building.  

I watched as people struggled to breathe, struggled to take a step forward, and fought for every single minute. 

I watched as people hugged. I watched as students cried. I watched as community members dropped off coffee and hot chocolate and flowers while staff members took care of each other.  

I watched as broken hearts broke even more and the shock wore off and the reality began to sink in. I watched as people tried to navigate the unthinkable all while handling the fragile hearts of the most precious little ones who came in hurt and confused.  

In my profession there are days when we come in to work and we are given the name of a student and told to “handle with care”. This means we are not to ask any questions, we are just to know that that particular little one is going through something serious and we are to take a bit more time and have heaps more patience and love. 

Today we all needed to be handled with care. I think we will need it again tomorrow and a month from now out of the blue we will need it again.  

Life is unpredictable, it is downright unfair at times, and cruel to the core.  

But it is a few other things as well. It is a hug that shares grief in the darkest of times. It is a cup of coffee you enjoy with tears running down your face. It is the text message from your son that just wants you to know that you are loved and appreciated because they know how hard today will be. It is watching life rush past you while every part of your being wants it to slow down and let you catch your breath.  

It is hope.  

It is love.  

It is uncertain, unkind, beautiful, and blessed. It is all those things and so much more.  

I’m thankful for all of it. I’m thankful that I got the chance to love even if it means heartache gets mixed in.  

I don’t want to miss a chance to tell you too- I love you. Today and forever.  

She used to read this blog. She encouraged me to write and let me know how much she was touched by my words. So dear friend, this one’s for you. The world was a better place with you in it.  

Psalm 34:18- The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.