My Life is full. I’ve had 4 beautiful children who have flown the coop and I get the pleasure of being an observer of the fruits of their maturity and growth into adults. In one way it’s difficult, because when you spend 20 years pouring into your children, one is a little lost for purpose when that is no longer your role. Yet, it’s rewarding, because watching them fly (and sometimes fall) is a reminder that they are Living Life. They are doing their assignments.
a task or piece of work assigned to someone as part of a job or course of study.-the allocation of a job or task to someone.-the task or post to which one has been appointed.
the assignment of individuals to particular social positions
Since the death of my first child, my son, Cory, my Life perspective is forever altered.
I’m an eleventh grade student all over again, given an assignment in Trigonometry that looks like a foreign language to me. I’m required to take the course to graduate. I don’t want to, I don’t understand it, and I can’t fake or skim my way through it as I have some classes prior. I stare at the chalk board as my teacher scribbles what looks like jibber-jabber on the board and the Fear sets in. I can’t do this. Nope.
I go to my school counselor…can I take something else for college-prep graduation? Nope.
So I go to class and I continue to sit up straight and look like a serious student taking notes in my purple spiral notebook. Inside I am panicking because I have NO IDEA what any of what I’m writing means. I occasionally frame my pages of notes with doodles of cartoon faces or intricate orderly designs of swirls, dots and shapes to relieve the anxiety, then bring my mind back to the teacher at the front of the class. He’s writing the new assignment neatly at the top right corner of the board:
Pages 140,141, and 142 #1-50. Due Monday. Test Wednesday.
Holy Cow. How did we get to page 140 already? So far, I’ve stumbled my way through, looking at answers in the back of the book for my homework assignments, copying others homework…going through the motions, writing formulas down, showing up, and appearing like I’m a real student. And I have a solid D in the class because of those bloody tests. I still understand Nothing, and I’m half way in.
I finally go to the teacher after school and I tell him the truth. I’m lost, I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t think I belong in this class. He’s a bearded hippy looking “old guy” in his 50’s.
“You ARE in this class.”, he says. And he’s silent. Starts shuffling his papers while I stand at his desk awkwardly fidgeting with my fingers. My heart starts beating hard and fast. I wonder if he can hear it. That’s it? Jerk. I say, “Ooo…kaay.”, quietly as I start to turn to leave the room.
“Miss Gouthro?” he says. I turn and he’s writing a note on a piece of scrap paper. He slides it across the desk. It’s a number for a tutor and the time of a study group in his classroom. I followed directions. I met with a tutor and I joined the study group. With their help and support, I passed with a healthy C-, graduated and went to college. In college, I was a tutor for the football team in Freshman English, and returned the proverbial favor. And so it goes….
My son died. I don’t want to, I don’t understand it, and I can’t fake or skim my way through it. But I AM in this class. I’m going through the motions, showing up, and don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve had 1000 conversations with the old guy upstairs, have at times thought Him a jerk, and every now and then He slides me a note on a scrap piece of paper.
This one said, “Ride 1700 miles. Call so-and-so. Here’s your study group. Reach out, ask, pedal.” I’m following directions.
Returning the favor of providing research $$ to help other families have more Time with their kids afflicted with the beast of cancer, just as those before me did for us.
What’s your assignment? I will forever support others in their Life Assignments, too. We are all in school Together. And so it goes…