Today has been rough! There is no other way to say it, unless I was a curser and then I might say #$@*$&! rough! And I could go into detail, but they are just that, details. It’s an endless list of impossibly tough situations, all compounding, rolling across my chest like a large, heavy, prickly tumbleweed and it’s poking me, and it hurts and I can barely catch my breath.
And in the midst of this terrible, awful, no good day I promised Sweet K, the 5th grader I mentor, that I would have lunch with her and bring her favorite Chinese food. I had already cancelled on her last week, explaining that I wasn’t feeling well, and was determined to show up for her. I was literally gasping for breath as I entered the school. I am not sure what a heart attack feels like but my chest was tight and I could barely breath. I was wearing my big black sunglasses to hide my puffy eyes and the tears that just wouldn’t go away. I tried to give myself a pep talk, “I can do this, I can do this, Lord give me strength.” AND “Xanax is on the counter at home, I can take it in 30 minutes.” I knew if I could just make it through lunch that Xanax was on the other side.
I walked to the cafeteria with steps of dread and stood and waited for her class to come to lunch. I didn’t know if I could do it. And then in the distance I saw her and all of her girlfriends, with their huge smiles. Her friends were pointing at me and excitedly telling Sweet K, “Ms. Moss is here and she brought you lunch!”. I walked up to her and threw my arms around her and looked at her beautiful smile and big brown eyes and suddenly I could breathe again.
We grabbed the bag of Chinese food and headed outdoors to bask in the warm sunshine and talk about life. We always play the High/Low game. We share the High of our week and the Low of our week. She immediately asked if we could play and told me I should go first. I told her that my High was that very moment just sitting with her, enjoying lunch and getting to spend time together. She asked about my Low and I said that I would tell her later. I then told her it was her turn. She sweetly said that her High was that I came to see her. I smiled. She then told me her Low was that I was not able to come have lunch with her the week before. I told her I was so sorry. And then she asked me, “Ms. Moss, what was wrong with you last week?” I grabbed her hand and calmly explained to her everything. I told her that I may miss a few more lunches, and that I will look different and that she is not allowed to laugh at me when she’s sees my bald head, but that more than anything in the whole world I want to keep being her friend because I love her and spending time with her makes everything better. She seemed to understand the gravity of what I was saying but within minutes transitioned back to talk of school, and friends and sweet summer memories. And it could not have been a more perfect lunch.
Indeed, Sweet K made everything better today. She was my beautiful, bright, gentle and loving Silver Lining. She gave me just what I needed to take the next step and throw that heavy tumbleweed off my chest and step out into the sunlight and refocus on what truly matters.
Who needs Xanax when you have Sweet K!