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Sunday, April 12, 2020

He Gave His Life For Us, We Can Stay Home For Them

Happy Easter to all of you. On this day that Christ gave up his life for us, we must remember that we have to stay home and stay safe so that we can save others. 
But I have to admit something. . . . I'm tired of isolation. And I'm not even completely staying home. I do go to the grocery store. I have visited my dad, but he's 98 so I feel that's justified. 

I'm just tired of having to behave. I don't like to let someone else control me. I don't like that there are things I can't do. So I sit and wallow in my sorrow for a while. 

And then I get up and slap myself! 

 "Get over it Patty. You have so much that others don't. Quit being a crybaby!"

I truly realized this when I went with my husband to deliver food to students who need it. During the school year, we have a backpack program where each week food is put in their backpacks for them to take home so they can eat over the weekend. Also included is a voucher so they can go to the store and get a free gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, and a dozen eggs. That's a lot and that's so nice that the members of my community pay for this so our students who need it don't go hungry. 

But now that school is not in session, these students aren't getting their weekend foods. So we delivered it. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. I have been teaching for 40 years. I know that kids come from all walks of life. I know that there are the "haves and the have nots." But I didn't truly get it until Thursday. 

We delivered to a run down hotel. I want to believe the people who live here are only here for a short time, but I have my doubts. Two little faces greeted us at the door. (Our job was just to knock and set the bag of food down, and then leave.) But these faces were so excited to see someone at their door that we caught sight of them. They just grinned from ear to ear.  They told us thank you very much and we left. 

But what didn't leave was what I saw. Inside that room, it was dark. The curtains on the one window were closed. In most old hotel rooms there isn't a fridge, and I'm pretty sure there's no stove either. There's probably not any utensils to eat with or dishes to eat on.  I'm willing to bet that there is no room service to change the sheets every day or even every week. Yet this bag of food will help give them some energy for a bit longer. 

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that when a child tells me they didn't or couldn't do their homework, I couldn't understand why. Now I can. 

When they tell me that no one would help them with their homework, I couldn't get that either. 
Now I can. 

When they tell me they didn't get much sleep, because they don't have their own bed or their own bedroom and they sleep on the couch while the tv is on until late at night. I can't believe that.
Now I can. 

When they said they don't have a pencil at home, (or crayons, or scissors, or coins, or paper, etc) I thought that was unbelievable. 
Now it's not. 

I get it. I GET it big time. No wonder elementary students love to come to school. There are supplies, organization, a place to sit, a place to put things, a person to love them. A teacher who is there every single day (usually!)

So if anything, this Stay Home Stay Safe initiative is a good thing, so that others can live. And if we all do our part and stay home, we can get those kids, ALL KIDS back to school where they too are safe and secure. 

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