Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Just Believe

I have written this for almost a week now. I have cried and cried as the words appear on the screen. I have been second grade teacher for nine years and this past week was the first time I was blindsided. I found out that one of my students was diagnosed with Leukemia.

One of MY students. Not another class, not another grade, not another school, it was my sweet kiddo, in my class. One of my students who absolutely loved life.

She was the most bubbly little eight year old I have ever met. She loved hanging with the boys and she was more than happy to be the only girl at her table in class. She loved keeping those boys in line and she was one of the few that had a true wit to her. She had a laugh that you could hear throughout the building. I loved this laugh. It was one of those laughs that when you heard it, you found yourself laughing, too.

Now, she has a sickness that she has to battle. Her laugh started to fade as the sickness took over. I noticed some weight loss and how she was so pale that she was yellow. After some discussion with our PE teacher, I decided to talk to grandma. The next day was worse, a lot worse. She hadn't laughed or even cracked a smile all week. I had the nurse call mom and they took her to the ER. She was diagnosed Wednesday night. I found out Thursday morning.

I was out for morning duty and our secretary asked me to come in. She told me that the concerns were valid and that my sweet little giggly girl had Leukemia. My sweet girl had this disease. I lost it. For the first time in nine years, I was not able to keep it together. I cried and cried. I finally got it together just in time for the kids to come in and start our day.

I looked at every single one of them and just wanted to hug them and tell them that I loved them. Every. Single. One. The ones that were always on task, polite, and kind. The ones that struggled, got in trouble, and the ones that kept me on my toes. Every. Single. One. I wanted to hug them and never let them go.

I didn't want to do anything that day but cry and hug my kiddos. Obviously, I couldn't do that. My kids noticed right away that my eyes were flaming red. I told them it was allergies and that it would be ok. I went through so many excuses to tell them, this was the best one I could come up with.

I went about my morning, business as usual and then I would just cry. It would literally hit me out of the blue. I felt like I just got punched in the gut. At this time, we weren't allowed to talk about it. Only myself, the secretary, and our principal knew. I ended up having to take a half day. I just could not hold it together.

I got in my car and I cried. I cried all the way to my mom's house. My parents watch Champ for me during the day. Once I walked in, I told them and I lost it. Like, ugly cry lost it. I then put myself in that situation as a parent. I was devastated. This whole time I have been thinking about my sweet student. I haven't even begun to think about my sweet student's mom and grandma. I can't even imagine what they were and have been going through. Pure heartbreak.

On Friday, rumor spread that I had a "meltdown" the day before. I was fine with this, because my focus was on my kiddo. However, anytime someone would ask me how I was doing, I would cry. I would sit down and start to cry. I would go to put a Cd on and I would cry. I couldn't get away from the thought that my sweet kiddo was sick. Every time I thought that I had it together, I would lose it. Such random times, too. I would lose it walking in the hallway. I would lose it if I caught a glimpse of her empty seat. The thought of her losing her beautiful long curly hair was enough to push me over the edge.

That same day we told the class. I picked them up from Specials 10 minutes early (we have Specials at the end of the day). I sat them down and told them that our friend was sick. I told them that she had Leukemia and that she will be battling this and that we need to believe in her. I told them that we love her very much and that every night we need to just believe that she will be alright. My principal and I discussed on how to do this with my class. There was no easy way to do this. My class is very different this year. I have a class full of kiddos that are just full of good and love. They really do care about each other. Needless to say, there were a lot of tears. For the first time in nine years, I cried in front of a class.

I have always had a lot of pride in myself with keeping it together. I have gone through many things that would have broken some people. But this? I wasn't ready for this. I'm still struggling with this. I just want to ask why. Why is this happening to this sweet eight year old? A baby. A kind, sweet, little girl. Why?

I have learned in this short of time that I can't ask why. I'm not going to get the answer. All I can do is just believe. I have to just believe that she will battle this and win. I have to just believe that I will have enough strength to get through my days with a smile on my face, even though my heart is broken. I have to just believe that my students will carry her in their heart and give her the strength to beat this. I have to just believe that she can and that she will get though this.

This is all still so new and so raw that I wish I had the answers, but I don't, I have faith and I have to just believe. I am lucky enough that a teacher was suggested to me to contact. She went through a similar experience. I have been in contact with her and it has been a blessing to find someone who gets what you and your kiddos are going through. I can't thank A Teeny Tiny Teacher enough for taking the time to talk to me. This has meant the world to me.Thank you.

In the meantime, I am going to keep it together. It is my job to be strong. Be strong for my class and for my girl. It is my job to be the rock. I can and I will do this for my kiddo. I am going to try and setup a FaceTime with her every week. I plan on filming all of our parties and sending them to her. I am going to try and make her feel the love we have for her. I want her to still feel like she's part of our class, because she is! She is part of our class and will always be a part of my heart.

I have always loved this quote, but now it means even more to me.

So if you read this, please say a quick prayer for all the kiddos that are going through this. Also, remember to hug your kiddos tomorrow at school. I know I will. Thank you guys for taking the time to read this. I appreciate all of your good thoughts and prayers.


  1. My thoughts and prayers are with your student and with you (and your class). That must be so hard! Thank you for sharing. Sending positive thoughts your way.

  2. Thank you so much, Krissy. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. :)

  3. Be prepared. This is a LONG road...Lots of ups & downs. I had a student diagnosed in first grade..sick for about 6-8 months, chemo, raidiation,etc..Well for 3-4 years...Now cancer back. He's in Oakland in isolation as we speak. I send cards & letters...try to cheer him up. Hard. Very HARD. Wendy 1stgradefireworks

    1. Good thoughts and prayers to you and your guy. It is such a hard thing to go through. Thank you for your advice, I appreciate it.