This past week, one of my best and favorite teachers came to see me. She is one of those special people you want your kids to be with. To learn from. To grow from. She quietly shut my door, smiled through teary eyes, and shared terrible news with me. Doctors found a spot. It had spread, but not sure where or how far. Surgery scheduled for this past Monday. Her hope is that they wouldn’t find that it had “spread” too far. Me too.
You see, her late husband died from the same. She is afraid. Scared. For herself, I’m sure. But more for her daughter, her son, and her husband. She told me that she’s going to be strong. That she’ll beat it. That she has to remain positive.
She smiled. She wiped a tear or two. Me too. We hugged and I told her that she was in my thoughts and prayers. She is and she will be. Each day. Every day.
Living In Fear.
I know a principal. Older guy. Veteran who’s been around the block and then some. He’s on a board member’s hit list. Lord knows the reason, because I sure don’t. He does what he can. Loves the kids. His kids. His teachers. Tries to put them first. Makes a mistake here or there, but who doesn’t? Big school. Big issues. Bound to happen here or there. He reflects. He corrects. He moves on. His heart is in the right place- with kids. With others. First and foremost.
I know that each day he walks into his building, he worries. For his job. His family. Each day. Some days might be better than others. Most maybe. But he worries. He puts on a brave face. He smiles and laughs with others. But I dare say no one . . . no one . . . knows what this man is going through. Daily. Each day.
Living In Fear.
Living In Fear is dangerous. Deadly, really. Debilitating. Dehumanizing. Humiliating.
One feels beaten. Beaten down. One questions decisions, actions, words. One wonders what should be said. What shouldn’t be said. Choices become limiting, few. Or so it seems.
One feels absolutely, totally alone. So very alone. Lonely. Isolated. Beaten. Beaten down.
For those who are Living In Fear, each minute of life . . . of living . . . is robbed of joy, of happiness, of peace. Life and living become empty. Void.
There are those among us who walk down this endless, empty and lonely road. Perhaps you know who they are. Perhaps you just suspect. Perhaps you have a hunch.
There might be those who are reading this who walk this road. Each day. Every day. Alone.
Living In Fear.
But . . .
You aren’t alone. Not ever. Not really.
There are those of us who walked down that road once or twice. There are those of us who know what that life feels like. What that road is like. There are those of us who reached out . . . who reach out . . . to others to reassure, to tag along with. To walk side by side willing to listen. There are those who had the courage to ask for help. And to offer help. To offer a shoulder to lean on. An ear to listen. A heart to accept. Arms to hold. To support. To hold up. To lift up.
Reaching out . . . asking for help takes courage. To ask for help is an admission that you don’t have all the answers. To ask for help is an admission that you cannot do it by yourself. That takes courage. That takes guts.
And it takes courage to offer help. It takes guts to offer one’s shoulder, one’s heart.
But we’re all in this together. Offer it and someday, someday, that help might be needed in your own life. Extend it, give it, and one day as you walk along that so lonely and empty road, you might find a hand to help you along, an ear to listen, a heart to care.
We’ve all been there. All of us. We need to help each other. Each of us. For each other. Silently strong. Vocally too. Something to think about . . .