Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Back to Work

I returned to work at Gabrielino High on Thursday, February 28th. I was a bit nervous and I didn't really know what to say to my students and colleagues. So I just told my kids the truth - that it felt awkward to be back. But I figured that as much as I didn't know what to say, others probably didn't know what to say to me either. So I just told my students that we should just acknowledge the awkwardness and be OK with it. Physically, work has felt exhausting. I went back on a Thursday because I felt that two days in a row was about as much as I could stand. I felt that I would need a weekend to rest, reflect, and regroup before tackling a full week. Now two days into my first full week, I feel that my legs are under me a bit more. I feel that I can do the job of teaching my students and guiding them through the last 3.5 months of the school year.

When I returned, many came to see me and gave me a hug. Some tried talking to me, others did not. The words didn't really matter. I can scarcely remember anything that anyone said those first couple of days anyway. But I remember their presence and the love that was communicated through those visits. My friend Scott came and had lunch with me, kindly bringing a salad for me. That was nice. Thank you to all of you at GHS who have reached out with your heart to me. I'm extremely grateful.

Though work is a bit of a distraction, I find myself wanting to think about my wife and my son. Every chance I get, I think about them. I look at the collages on my wall that capture so many happy moments. I can look at them for hours. Though it hurts, I don't want to move on. It feels so very wrong to even consider moving on. I don't even know what moving on really means anyway. I can only live in the present and right now, the only thing that feels right is to think of Midi and Nathan as much as I can. I don't even have a choice right now. Between sentences during a math lesson I think of them. During a bite of my sandwich I think of them. I can't stop my heart from yearning for them and I don't want to no matter how much the yearning hurts. Every book I've read by people who have suffered tragic loss indicates that someday I will be able to move forward. They indicate that this intense grief is a phase that will pass. As I am in it now, it is difficult for me to imagine a day when I will live without this pain that, in some ways, gives me comfort. Pain and a broken heart is where I am supposed to be right now. There is no rush to get out.

3 comments:

Fred said...

Mark,

Thanks for keeping us up to date with all that you are going through. We are all with you and praying fervently for you and with you. Though I'm not nearby, I am thinking of you and Lucas all the time.

You know, I think your feelings are right on. Don't even worry about moving on right now. Continue to think about them and cherish the love and the joys you shared together. You WILL see them again some day. But yes, we are all brokenhearted that Midi & Nathan are no longer with us. You and Midi's parents know this pain the greatest, and your healing will take time. May our Lord Jesus Christ comfort you and give you all the special grace you need during this trial. Love you, man. -Fred T.

Anonymous said...

Even though I don’t see you at work often, I do often think of and pray for you and your family. You’re right that words don’t mean a whole lot right now. Those of us who have our own spouses and children can only imagine a fraction of the pain, but we grieve with you still. I can remember the expression on your face when you told me when and how you started dating Midi, or where you took her to dinner the following week. I also remember how happy you were when you said how fun it is to be with your sons. It’s right that you should hold on to the good and beautiful. -Lovelyn

Ernest Esquer said...

Mark,
I read your comments on a regular base, and I must say to you that where your at with your feelings and emotions is exactly where you should be. "Moving on" is something that will happen at a nautral state, dont rush through what your feeling. You have a very strong believe with our lord and he will guide you and help heal you as time goes by. I miss Midi very much, I think about her everyday and Nathan as well. I truly believe that in time justice will prevail, whatever that justice may be. Know in your heart that I pray for you and Lucas, and like you, I know Midi and Nathan are home with our savior and how lucky is he that now he has two very special angels with him to watch over you and Lucas.
Much Love and respect to you all