Tonight some of my kids graduated from grade school. I am heartbroken. I mean - I am so happy for them but at the same time it is a loss for me. Teaching is so much a part of my heart that each child I meet becomes my own. I have the blessing of listening to and sharing in their desires, thoughts, mistakes, dreams, and everyday life. I will miss each of them as a unique expression of God's love in my life.
As this week went on I spoke to many of the kids individually about how special they are and how many gifts they have to offer God with the gift of their lives - how much I needed them to do that for the future of the Church and our world. I'm just so proud of them and I can see all the grace and all the gifts that God has just filled them with - with the intention of them becoming great saints. I told two of them I thought they had vocations.
Tonight was a happy one, in spite of my heartache, and after Mass we were celebrating with pictures and hugs and congrats outside Church. I could tell one of the dads wanted to talk to me as he came over and I was in the middle of teasing a few of my dear "little ones" (who are in reality quite big!). I went over as soon as they "freed" me from our fun and I was surprised by "dad's" interaction with me. I love this family but I don't really have any special relationship with them. They have a lovely son and are just all around good people. But tonight, Dad hugged me and thanked me and I could see in his eyes that there was something he wanted to say - but he didn't say it, whatever it was. I probably won't know what it is that was obviously important to him.
You can never know what you do for others and how much it is just a gift from God. I wish Dad could have told me what it was he was thankful for... but maybe in God's plan for me it's better I don't know. What I do know is that my heart is really touched by the beauty of God's plan for my life this year with each person I've encountered. I'm happy that I've been able to tell them how much I love them, about how they show me God, about how proud I am of them. It's hard to tell anyone that they are important to you but I feel good knowing that they know how much I care about them.