March 16, 2017
As I’m sure you already know, your Grade 7 teacher (Mrs. Harford) has joined you on the other side and I wonder if you may have been one of the five or so people that met her in heaven? She was so lovely in so many ways and was a teacher that had begun to make a real difference in your learning of important life skills.
She had some real “mom like” qualities and was determined to teach you that amongst the obvious academics, you needed to know the importance of good organizational and strong time management skills. Stuff that I, as your mom, tried to teach you and your brothers over and over and over… A few things that Mrs. Harford had over me were 1) she wasn’t your mom, 2) she didn’t see how well you could dig in your heels, and 3) she was so lovely all of the time.
One thing you did super well was to present what you thought most important to a 12 year old boy and as I look back, YOUR grade 7 real world perspective was important. Well, most of it…
Friends and sleepovers and the importance of a bike and a pair of skis… A voice that always mattered and a warm bed… Help with homework and a ride to all those early morning practices… Age appropriate freedom like biking to school and ripping down to the park on your skateboard…Eating cookie dough and choosing your own new shoes, icecream and marshmallow science (when I wasn’t home), sitting ON Dad and a before bed tuck-in.
All these things were so important to you and though I didn’t buy in to candy before dinner and chocolate before bed you didn’t seem hungry when an apple or banana was the option, nor were you receptive to the word “no” even when “yes” was out of the question. (This is where Mrs. Harford didn’t see how well you could dig in your heels.) Grade 7 — a time when you were really coming into your own.
On Wednesday afternoon Mrs. Fisher sat beside me on the couch in front of our big living room window and as we shared tears and talked about Mrs. Harford’s battle with cancer she exclaimed mid-sentence, “look, it’s snowing? It’s Will!” The uncanny thing about this scenario is that it was +8 C and it should have been impossible for it to snow, but it did. You have taught me that nothing is impossible in heaven and so it was at that moment we agreed that you and Mrs. Harford had just met each other on the other side. Crazy? I think not. Why? Because you have taught me so much about the other side and what it’s like there. How else can one even try to explain snowflakes on a warm, sunny, spring day?
I hope that you were on your best behavior on Wednesday and that weren’t talking out of turn. Were you tidy and organized and on time? I know you may not have had matching socks or combed your hair (really, I can’t even remember a time when that actually happened down here, but you had that kind of hair!). All this aside, I do imagine that you had the biggest smile and that your bright, blue eyes and zest for fun showed her that you’d make it feel like some of the best parts of her life up there — in heaven where the skies are always blue and there is no such thing as cancer.
Love you sweet Will. Like a bus carrying the five or so people that met Mrs. Harford in heaven. Stay close to her, Will. She still had so much to teach you.
Thank you for your strength and perseverance I just lost my grandmother in January at 101 years of age and one day thank you again
Thank you for your note, Jim. You are very lucky to have had all those years with your grandmother. 101 Wow! I hope you are at peace knowing that her life was long and full.
Hi there Joni. I was just posting my own new blog to Twitter and saw your name and your link; of course I had to read your letter to Will right away. I’m so moved by the image of your dear boy welcoming his teacher to heaven. Your heart touched mine today. Sending love.
Awe,thanks for your kind words, Katrina. It means o much that you took the time to read my love letter to Will. I, too, read your post and am happy for the parenting reminders from the perspective of your Jack. Your heart always touches my heart. Xo