Archive | March, 2011

Not Where But Who You’re With…

18 Mar

Warning: LOADED POST.

This year has not started off particularly well.

We ended the year with Audrey in the hospital, and we began the year with Audrey in the hospital.  In the grand scheme of things, we are very lucky.  And this is the GOOD news we’ve had.  She is healthy now and gaining weight and will hopefully have no long-term adversity from anything that has happened thus far.  And she is obviously very well loved.

The day that Audrey was admitted to the hospital the second time, February 12, I learned that my best friend from high school had died.  At the time, I could not process that.  I did not know how to deal with that while struggling to understand what was going on with my own baby.  Now that it’s been a few weeks, I still feel shell shocked, heartbroken, sad.

Jacinda was a beautiful, amazing woman and the best friend anyone could ever ask for.  Most of my high school memories are of her and all of them are happy; being with her, laughing with her, singing and dancing with her.  We had so many inside jokes.  She made my life happy and funny when I didn’t think it could be.  She taught me to play Pachelbell’s Canon in d on the piano.  She helped me learn the intervals so I wouldn’t flunk my music theory quizzes.  She made up silly songs with me in music technology class.  She had the funniest voices & faces that would always light up my day.

I still can’t believe that she is gone.  I hope that she knows that I thought about her every day.  I always will.  I am so grateful for the time I got to spend with her.  I only hope that my two daughters will get to experience a friendship like that someday.

Jacinda, you are greatly missed.  Rest safely.

Not too long after Audrey’s release from the hospital, more devastating news reached me.  A very good friend, also from high school, had lost her baby.  His heartbeat was not found at the ultrasound.  This friend was about halfway through this pregnancy with her second child.

This friend & her husband are great parents to their 2 year old daughter.  I know how hard they worked to get this pregnancy into place.  I do not know, nor can I imagine, how they feel now.  I know that part of it must be sadness, devastation, exhaustion, frustration.  But I have not lost a child.

My heart breaks for them, for their whole family.  It is so unfair.  But there is no one to complain to, there is no one to blame for such a loss.  I wish there were a way for me to help, to take away some of the pain, to make it less crappy.  I know they are strong people, amazing parents.  They will get through this.  Survive.  Go on with life.  Raise a beautiful family.  I know they won’t forget this little baby boy who didn’t get enough time with them.  I hope they know how much they and he are loved.

Today, I was informed that my high school band director, who has been courageously battling non-hodgkin’s lymphoma for a year, is on life support and in a coma.  His end is near.  His family & good friends are in my thoughts this week as they deal with the painful decisions that face them.

Mr. Spiegelman is a great teacher.  He meant a lot to me throughout high school, always pushing his students to be their best.  Though I didn’t always appreciate how great of a music educator he was, I came to do so as I went through my own journey to become a band director.

Being a great musician takes a lot of luck & talent.  Being a great music teacher takes a different set of skills.  Musicianship is a big part of it, but you also need to be a mentor, parent, friend, artist, fundraiser, student and so much more.  Good music educators, like Mr. Speigelman, teach their students to love music, understand music and play music while also being a part of a group that loves & cares about each other.

Mr. Spiegelman is a favorite teacher of so many.  I’m certain that he developed several former students into musicians & music teachers who may not have otherwise followed that path.  It is the ultimate legacy to leave: students who become teachers and create better students and more teachers.  Thank you, Mr. Spiegelman, for being such a great music teacher and advocate for music education.

Whew.  I know this post was heavy & may seem a bit disconnected or un-emotional.  I think I am still trying to process & feel all of this heartbreak that has abounded.  I am trying to find the light in all of this, reach for the little things that are still good, but it is slow going.  I haven’t even begun to process all of the tragedy in Japan & surrounding areas.

I feel lucky and grateful each day that my family is healthy and happy.  I am so glad that Audrey is on the mend, getting bigger each day.  I love to watch Ella grow & learn.  I feel so lucky that my husband is here, at home, loving all of us and providing so well for us.

I know that life will go on no matter what, but some days it just feels sucky.