Reflection on a “Year”

For the past 8 years, June has always been a time of reflection for me. Being a teacher, “years” don’t start in January and end in December – rather, they are a journey that you embark on with a new set of young minds in September. This year has been the most memorable one yet. I wish I could say this was because of joyous events, but that is not the case. This year has been tragic. Heaven took on far too many new angels at such a young age and a storm tore apart our beloved state.

As a teacher, I never expected to lose a student. The unthinkable happened twice this year.

Allie was a beloved member of my volleyball team. Her smile lit up the entire gym. She fought a courageous battle against cancer, serving as an inspiration to us all.

Mark was a sweet and quiet soul in my seventh period class. It was great to watch as he found his place at our high school. Just as he began to open up as a kind young man, he gained his angel wings too.

Hurricane Sandy brought a different type of destruction to this year. To watch as entire communities were swept away was shocking. Things like this never happen to us right? We just watch the stories unfold in faraway places on the news. Not this time.

I feel guilty saying that the loss of our family’s summer home has flipped my world upside down. People lost their ONLY homes. I realize this, and can’t imagine how hard that must be. I am having a really hard time coming to grips with the fact that my life as I have known it for 30 years has completely changed.

This year has been hard, but what is the point of toughing it out if you don’t learn lessons and grow as a person because of it?

Don’t take life for granted.
Seize the day.
Reach out to someone who could use it.
Donate.
Look to be better tomorrow than you are today.
Smile when it is hard, you never know who needs to see your smile.
Love.
Do good.

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