M’s former teacher is not well.

M’s first grade teacher from last year is very critically sick with ovarian cancer and her second round of chemo isn’t working. Please keep her and my daughter M in your thoughts and prayers. And me too, because it’s making me very upset. I just can’t stop crying about it. It’s bad. Way bad. I broke the news to M today, because I found out how bad it was from her friend’s mom who is related to Ms P. The principal made an announcement just before school let out to ask the staff to meet to take pictures in order to send to Ms P., but of course didn’t say why. M and her friend also checked Ms. P’s classroom today after school, hoping they’d see her there. Today was the first day of classes and they haven’t seen Ms P. since mid-summer during summer school.

Ms. P told me about her struggle with it a year ago. She is one of those people who is extremely optimistic and kindhearted in the face of her disease. She is kind and thoughtful and was so fond of my M, and M was very fond of her. We saw her over the summer (she taught a summer class at the same place M went for science camp) and every time she saw M, her face just lit up.

And me…I’m just falling apart. Maybe it’s because I know how much M loved her and how much Ms. P meant to her. Maybe it’s because I know how much M meant to Ms. P and it breaks my heart. My other two girls knew Ms P too, and she was always kind to them as well.

Oh, I’m a mess. My thoughtful, sweet, kind-hearted M is going to have to deal with this reality. She already asked me some questions about it, like if Ms. P was going to be okay. I am not one to lie about something so serious, so I said that “I didn’t know, and the doctors didn’t know, but that they were giving her some medicine to help her. Sometimes the medicine works and people get better, and sometimes the medicine doesn’t work and people die”. I told her “all we could do was hope and pray for her that she gets better”.

I don’t know if this is the right thing to say. But M is much like her father, 37 on the day she was born. She seemed to take the news well enough, though she is saddened by the thought of Ms. P not getting better. She did cry later in the evening when there was a storm coming through – she tends to lose control when bad weather is coming – she’s very afraid of tornadoes.

M and the other two girls made get well cards for Ms. P and I’m going to the office tomorrow to find out if they can forward them to her or her family.

Please wish all of us strength and Ms. P healing.

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