My aunt – my dad’s 2nd oldest brother’s wife – passed away recently. She was no taller than 4’8″, a life-long smoker, a great chef, a woman who could cuss you out and give you sage advice all in one breath. She looked after me during my study abroad days at HKU. I got to know a lot of the Ng family recipes from her. She took me out to eat, shop, sight-see. She bought me presents and introduced me to my first favorite Korean drama. There was a lot of tension between my mother and her. Both encouraged me to treat the other well.
One of my teaching school classmates’ husband left her recently. I haven’t seen her since our CSUS days, but we got along pretty well and admired each other’s pedagogy. She got married a little after we both graduated – barely three years ago. Her marriage, which started out seemingly idyllic, broke apart in less than three years.
An acquaintance’s relationship also ended recently. He texted her. Their love also seemed idyllic from the start. But I suppose all loves do, no? It wouldn’t be love if it wasn’t idyllic at least for a bit. This friend’s shock wasn’t over the cold method of communicating the break up, but in the suddenness. They had made plans for valentines day. They went on a weekend vacation together just last month.
Life happens suddenly. People die. Are born. They get together. They break up. They move, change jobs, have babies, lose babies, are married, are separated, are divorced. They gain it big, and then lose it all.
I am amazed at the constancy of God right now. He never changes, He never wavers. The earth is predicted to be swallowed up by the sun in however-many-eons from now, and on the day it is supposed to happen, God will still be God, just as He was when the earth was formed however-many-eons ago.
I am thankful for the life given to me. I am reminded to take nothing for granted. To be fully present in the now and truly be with my family and friends. I am hopeful for the future. I cherish my past.
I took time out today to play games with my students after school. It was fun. During tutoring time, I kicked everyone else who wasn’t in my classroom to get help out. The quiet, and peaceful focus was very productive. It is sometimes better to limit the open-door policy.
I enjoyed working with Super Colleague today. I did everyone involved a favor by subbing for a fellow teacher who didn’t manage to find a sub in time. I accepted the fact that we all needed a fairly easy day just because it is the middle of February and there’s still a long way to go.
The above three personal stories affected me a lot more than huge national tragedies like Sandy Hook, or super storms, or earthquakes, etc. Not just because I personally know those people. Well, perhaps a little. But it’s mainly because those events’ impact wasn’t lessened or diluted by being a national headline. They are private stories. Told to only a select group of people. They are protected from being the fodder of random Twitter users to comment on. These stories still are sacred.
Let’s make life just as sacred. Let’s start today.