Happiness Through Tears

SCHOOL3My first day as a Special Education Para.

This day seemed so long ago.

Six months.

It’s really not that long.

It’s just a flash in time when you really think about it.

Six months…

Yesterday, I closed that chapter of my life.  It wasn’t a decision that I WANTED to make, but, rather, one I HAD to make.  It was, in all honesty, probably the hardest decision I had to come to terms with.

While Grady started a great paying job in December, the meager income I was contributing as a Para wasn’t helping at all.  The two combined just wasn’t enough.  Being of the mind that we don’t want to just “get by”, that we want to ENJOY life and be able to let our kids enjoy a few luxuries from time to time, I knew that I would have to start looking for a better paying job.

We prayed and prayed and prayed for the right job to come my way.  There were many days of doubt as resume submissions weren’t answered or interviews didn’t result in the job I thought I wanted.  I knew in my heart that God had the RIGHT job waiting for me.  He was testing my patience.  One morning it hit me.  I needed to be REALLY specific with Him about what I WANTED.  Starting that day, I got REAL with my prayers.

You want to know what happened?  A few mornings later, over a cup of coffee, I saw an advertisement for a position with a company I was familiar with in a neighboring city.  Within a few minutes I submitted my recently revamped resume.  Thirty-six hours later I had an interview set up for the following week.  Twenty-four hours after one of the best interviews I’ve ever had I got the call for the job offer.  God had answered our prayers.  He was blessing our family with everything I’d asked for, a company with FAITH at the forefront of their operation and an overwhelming devotion to the welfare and happiness of their employees and a salary that would help support my family with opportunities for advancement.  I was overjoyed.

That joy came with a price.

I was going to have to say goodbye to a job that I truly LOVED.  I never thought it possible to enjoy working in the education field as much I do/did.  As I’ve told so many people, the role I played in the daily lives of “my kiddos” just sang to my soul.  I loved walking into the classroom to excitement, stories, and hugs each day.  Each and every one of them hold a very special place in my heart.  I know their stories, I know their talents, I know their challenges.  I loved helping to challenge their minds and watching the wheels turn.  Seeing the light come on when they GOT it was priceless.

Telling my supervisors and co-workers about my resignation was tough.  Telling the kids was tougher.  Their hearts were broken along with mine.  For the past two weeks I heard daily pleas begging me to stay.  I read letters and lists of reasons why I couldn’t leave.  I watched fourth graders execute a petition for higher wages for paras so Mrs. Gibb could stay fueled with support/help from their home room teacher.  They were ferociously doing everything they could think of to keep me there.  I got great amusement in the realization of their greatest fear…  They were desperately afraid of getting a “Nanny McPhee” para with monstrous moles and a growling voice.

As much as I would have loved to have a “normal” day yesterday doing the things we always do, the kids had a much different idea. After lunch I walked into our home room class to a “surprise” party.

photo 2Signs were EVERYWHERE!

photo 3I was bombarded with little handmade gifts, cards and more letters.

photo 4photo 5photo 1The white board was COVERED in sweet little messages and they even brought cinnamon rolls and Mexican food, chips, salsa, bean dip and queso dip.

To say the least, I was spoiled.

…and I was loved.

At the end of the day, I did manage to duck out quietly.  I hugged kids in the hall and left as if it were any other day.

My heart is full today.  I said many prayers of thanks last night for being blessed with the para job.  I know God meant for me to have that position.  There were so many lessons I learned about myself, life and relationships.  I gained valuable friendships and great insight into the power of our community, the true meaning of integrity and what it means to NOT give up on your hopes, your dreams, what you BELIEVE in and those around you.

Monday morning I will embark on yet, another adventure and begin a new chapter.  I think I’m really going to enjoy this one.  It comes with signs of peace, resilience and comfort.

Life is beautiful.

Peace, love and Chapter 459


6 thoughts on “Happiness Through Tears

  1. Hi. Thank you for giving us the Liebster Award! I’ve been looking through your blog before beginning my answers to your Q&A and I saw this post. First, congratulations on your new job! Second, are you a K-State Alum? Me, too! Although I grew up in big cities (Chicago and L.A.), I really appreciated the beauty of Kansas. At school I spent most of my free time on the Kanza Prairie, taking in nature and taking photographs. I sold photo cards for a while and some of the most beathtaking pictures and top sellers were shots from the prairie. My sisters both followed me there, and one loved it so much she decided to stay. She’s getting married this Summer and moving to a tiny little town outside Kansas City.Thanks again for the award, and good luck with everything!

    • Thank you!! Sadly, I am not a K-State alum. I spent the first half of my childhood (until age 12) in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Ten years ago I made the decision to move back to my roots and haven’t regretted a moment of it!

  2. UGH..this made me a little watery eyed!! What a great story and its so obvious what a kind and loving person you are for all those students to have such a strong reaction to your departure!! You can tell you must have touched hearts in those little kids and shown them such compassion (probably more than some get at home). What a heart-breaking, bittersweet story! I have no doubt whatever you decide to do you will do great things!!

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