This is a time of year when I can struggle with the blues a bit. My brother died in June, three years ago. On the last day of school, I got a call from my mom that my brother had been flown to Denver because he was so sick. At that point we weren’t sure what was going on, but I had to go to school the next day to finish wrapping up things in my classroom. That afternoon I was told that he probably wouldn’t make it through the weekend, so we left immediately for Colorado.
It’s that time of year again. I’m administering end-of-the-year tests, making room in my cupboards for all the textbooks and things that are currently inside student desks, and entering in final grades so that report cards can be printed. All of these little things are triggers that remind me of 2007 and the loss that my family experienced. With that can come some mild depression or melancholy.
The other day, my student teacher (who has become a friend) asked if I was okay. She told me that she could tell that I’ve not been myself. She shared that she has grown to love me as a friend and that she really cares about me. My eyes welled up with tears because this really ministered to me. She saw me and that felt good. Not in the sense of being pitied because it wasn’t that at all. She simply noticed that something wasn’t ticking quite right and let me know that she cared.
In 2007 when I was going through a significant dark period of depression, I often felt very alone. There were few friends who even noticed I was struggling. But, between the support of my husband, family, good friend in Exeter, and a counselor, I was able to pull through that dark time.
Do we SEE those around us? Do we take time to notice that their smile doesn’t go all the way to their eyes or that they’ve sighed one more time than usual? I know that I haven’t been so good at this. I’m often so wrapped up in my to-do list and my own struggles for the day, that I’m not always in tune with others. But, I am challenged to pause for a moment and pay attention. Maybe there are others who could use a pick-me-up in the form of a kind word of concern.