Sunday, October 11, 2009

Loss and service

On Friday we received the worst news imaginable at school. One of our beloved paras, Nancy, had suffered a heart attack the night before and died early that morning. This came as a complete shock to all of us. Nancy had been having some health problems last year, but this year she was doing so much better.

I want to tell you a bit about Nancy. I have been able to get to know her better by working with her in the afterschool program. She was the site coordinator at our school. She loved all of the kiddos dearly. She also loved her family very much. Her mother suffers from alzheimer's and her father has many health problems so she, along with her siblings, took care of them 24/7 so they could continue living in their own home. Nancy never complained. She also helped take care of her grandchildren and was always doing stuff for other people. She seemed to have a million things going on, but never acted like any of it was too much. She enjoyed everything she did. She also loved crafts. She always did the art project in 5th grade along with the kids when the art teacher came. Nancy is the one who taught me and several other people how to knit with a loom. She was always giving to others and always had a smile.

I have had an exceptionally hard time dealing with the loss of her. Not for myself, but for those she served so selflessly. I know that she is with Heavenly Father and at peace and is probably asking him what she can do up there to serve others and him, but she was needed so much here on earth. She did so much good. If she had been in an accident or something I think I would be able to accept it more or if she had been very ill and suffering, but she was not and it was just too sudden. I have been asking God to help me understand why he needed her home now.

I know that the best way to honor her memory is to serve others as she did. One thing I keep thinking about and am grateful for is that on her last day I was able to do something kind for her. This is going to sound so stupid and trivial, but I got her a chair to sit on. For afterschool program she had to sit at a table at the entrance to the gym. The table was set up, but she did not have time to grab the chair and I noticed right away and I went and got it. I am glad I was able to help her be comfortable that much sooner(she would have eventually asked someone to get it).

I was also able to help someone the day she died. After leaving work that day(oh, I should mention that Friday was a plan day so we did not have kids that day, which was a blessing in helping us figure out how to tell them and deal with that)I went with my husband(who is on a 4 day) to help a new soldier and his wife move some things from the motel they were staying at to another soldier's house who they will stay with until they get a house. When I met the soldier's wife, Maria, she hugged me so tight and told me how it was good to see someone new. She has been here a week with her husband and that is the only person here she knew. I told her that she has a friend now and made sure she had my number and I have hers. I told her that I would help her get familiar with things and she could call me for anything. I wanted her to know that she had someone here whom she could turn to. When I first came here I did not have that and was very lonely and sad and scared. I told myself that if I was ever in a position to make sure that didn't happen to someone else I would do everything I could. I was grateful that I was given the opportunity to help someone else, especially on that day.

Anyway, that is all I wanted to say. Tuesday is going to be a very difficult day for our school family again.

1 comment:

suzanne pena said...

i'm sorry to hear of your loss. i'm sending positive intentions your way. good for you to honor her gift of service with the same. *big hug*