As the bitter cold wind blew in my face today I was reminded of a Christmas season two years ago that was particularly difficult and how a group of my students help bring some much needed holiday cheer into my life one cold winter day.
It was the last day of school before Christmas break and as usual I was scheduled to come in Friday and teach computers to three different classes of mixed grades. The first period would have me with the first and second graders, the second period would put me in the midst of the third and fourth graders and the day would be topped off with the fifth and sixth graders.
Nothing too unusual, except for the fact that my husband had lost his job earlier on in fall, and due to car problems beyond my control (the car had actually died!) I had now been taking the bus to school to teach.
This last week before holidays was particularly difficult, financially, emotionally and physically. I was fighting a bad flu, wondering how we would buy Christmas gifts and how my husband would find a job without a car, all this when the last Friday came around. I remember that morning I did not want to come in. I wanted to call in sick and everyone would have understood, yet something in my didn’t want to disappoint the children. I knew how much they looked forward to computer classes on Friday.
So off I trudged past the snow banks, into the first stuffy bus for the what seemed like eternal one hour bus ride; I got off and transferred to the next bus for the last twenty minute ride and walked through the icy parking lot into the front door of the school. My nose and face was red and chilled but I was happy to be there.
Something very special happened that day. It started with the first period, with hugs and well wishes at the end of class and smiles that warmed my heart as they walked away. Then the next classes came into the computer room this time they had a card to present to me. One large beautiful class made card wishing me a merry Christmas. My heart grew warmer and by the time my last classes came in I was almost in tears. They had all made me the loveliest cards, signed and decorated and I knew that Christmas was going to be different this year.
I realized that I had received the greatest gift of love. Love cannot be packaged or wrapped or bought with a price. As I left the school that day and got back on the bus a tear rolled down my cold cheek and I was truly thankful for all the love I had received that day. I was richer somehow.