agnestirrito

"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe


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Friday’s Five

This week’s blessings have nothing to do with work. They have everything to do with what really, truly matters.

…a friend’s text:
Look at the sky.
We have the connection of appreciating sunsets and sunrises and the art of the sky in between. Sometimes I forget though…so tonight’s message with accompanying picture was most welcome.

…a dodged bullet:
Sam’s niece was in a head-on collision this week, but she’s ok. She texted us pictures of her car. I’d rather see one of her…glad she’s safe. Once again, we see how fast things can change.

…the purchase of a journal:
Not just any journal…one that will hold only poems that speak to me. A new collection. So excited to start that ongoing project.

…a new baby coming:
Be on the phone watch Friday night about 8:00! You will be my first message! :)))))
This, from a dear friend who is expecting her first child. How grateful I am to know her…and to get to know whether I am going to be an Aunt Fairy Godmother to a boy or girl!

…shared laughter with the man who is fighting the battle of his life:
QVC called. The meds are ready.
Uhh…I think that’s CVS. 🙂

I hope you smile too, dear readers.
Because of friends who love you at your most tired. Because of poetry in a fine leather book. Because of new life. And life preserved. Because of the ability to laugh on some dark days.

That is God. And He is with us.
I’m grateful.

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Friday’s Five

Surprises… that’s what I’m thankful for this week.

It rained last night, it rained all day long, and it’s still raining as I write this. Seven plus inches with more in the forecast. The only thing better would be snow. I read Mary Oliver’s poem about rain to my students. One said, Oh, I love how she wrote that. I hear the words of the rain.
Well. I hear them, too…surely is nice to have company.

A second welcome surprise: a new desk for my classroom with drawers that shut all of the way and
lock. You might have to be a teacher to understand the significance of this entry. It’s my first new (locking) desk in thirty years of teaching! It came with SIX keys. 😀

A pink rose still blooms in memory of Elizabeth Ingram, a teacher who worked at my campus. It blooms every single season. I have the latest one near my computer this week…a reminder that life is fragile, but beautiful.

Another dinner prepared this week, this time from an old friend and former colleague, Carolyn. It’s nice to receive those texts from people who actually mean it when they ask if there’s something they can do. We continue to be blessed with so many loving efforts of others.

Finally, the blessing of future surprises. I signed up for the Secret Pal project at work. I almost didn’t since I’m never sure where I’ll be each day. Then I told myself, Well, none of us really ever know, do we? So. I signed up. Maybe I can bring a little happiness to someone else.
We all need every bit of hope we can get.

Always find them: hope and blessings.

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Friday’s Five

This week’s list…reminders of our many blessings during some difficult days:

Laughter with colleagues. Look, you better laugh in this life. We are. Every day. There’s power in that. Never doubt it.

Birthday celebrations for my son and my sister. They live their lives admirably. Love them.

Violets from a two year old. Nothing matches the pure giving of a child. They know what matters.

A new substitute. Actually, a couple of good ones this week. Ones that, like me, don’t intend to be manipulated. They believe in having school. It’s harder than ever these days. Not because of cancer in my family. Harder because there’s a lack of respect that has been tolerated by others too long.
But not in room 104. Not this year. Not ever.

And, a story worth remembering:

Debbie Diller presented a professional development session on literacy stations this week. What will stay with me more than her tips was her honesty.
She spoke of bad administrators, insecure folks, a husband she lost from cancer a year ago.
But you march on. You just keep marching.
Her words struck a chord with me.
I’ve said it often: no one knows the challenges a cancer diagnosis brings unless they’ve lived it up close 24-7.
But it brings blessings, too. Big ones.
It brings a determination and resolve…unmatched.

And on we march.


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Friday’s Five

I’ve spent an unexpected week at home, but that is how it is sometimes.
Cancer does not care about schedules or plans. It does not care that sixty students spent the week with a substitute teacher.

I knew this might happen and communicated it to my principal and superintendent in separate meetings a month before the start of this new school year.
A colleague said, “Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about missing work.”
I can assure you, I do not.
I gave fair notice and explicit details.

So, here I am. Doing what I need to do for my family and being exactly where I need and want to be. And, as always,
God has reminded me of so many blessings this week:

Sam and I celebrated 25 years of marriage on Tuesday.There were times in this journey we weren’t sure we would see this milestone day, but we did. And we are grateful.

Samuel and Sara are here during these days, our biggest gifts. Their thoughtfulness and laughter fill our home with goodness.

State and federal reps are calling to help with the navigation of health care issues. They know it’s a mess, too. They promise to help and I promise to make sure they make good on that.

A parent sends me a Facebook message telling me her child misses me, is praying. And while my policy is to not accept friend requests from students or their parents, that private message was welcome today. I’m glad the substitute didn’t do the job I do. I’m glad there’s something in my teaching worth missing.

And, for #5: Texarkana Parent, a local periodical, published my article on the importance of writing. It was nice to see those words in print, nice to know that an important part of me continues to thrive during some difficult days.

No one understands the power cancer has over so many aspects of a family’s life until they’ve lived it. I’m sorry to say I understand. I’m here to say, though, that the blessings keep coming. I’ll always search for them. Every single day.