3/14/11

Sometimes those straws we are grasping for give us hope.

We spent a good part of morning meeting talking about guinea pigs, Frank's birthday party, his new cat, and earthquakes.

When Frank asked, "What IS an earthquake??? HOW does it HAPPEN??" I was ready.

First, I thanked the Powers that Be for the ten years I spent teaching fifth grade, and was particularly thankful for the many years spent teaching geology, plate tectonics, layers of the earth, and earthquakes. ( And I was doubly thankful that my memory hasn't been completely destroyed. )

I described what happens, in terms they could understand, and then went on to talk about their classmate.


I told them most of what I knew, which wasn't much, but reassured them that she was most likely FINE, and wouldn't she LOVE it if we wrote her some letters? They smiled, and agreed.


We miss you ***. We hope you weren't close to the earthquake.

Dear darling, our whole class misses you. I hope you are safe. I will think about you.





And then, right after lunch, I received the following email from another teacher who has received some crucial information about our girl's family.


They live on the island of Kyushu, which is a distance from Honshu where the damage has occurred, so I'm assuming that they are fine. No news is good news, right? I'm telling myself that because I don't want to think about it otherwise. I'll let you know if/when I hear from their father. Thanks!



And while my heart is lighter, and my hope is brighter, we will continue to pray. We pray for her, her family, her neighbors and her country.


Frankly, I pray for us all.



28 comments:

Julie said...

Ever since this whole thing occurred it's been an up/down of emotions. My friend's fiance just was transferred there (air force) and *just* found out that the military base is pretty far away - so those guys are ok.

I can't imagine not knowing how your student is. Know that she - and you / the other teachers - are in my prayers as well. Not knowing is the worst.

MiMi said...

I just can't even wrap my brain around the destruction. I'm holding onto the glimmer of hope you have there, too! I think she's fine!! See? I said it. It will be.

lol :)

Brian Miller said...

their picture and message are cute...and i will take those prayers and send them on as well...

formerlyonlyamovie said...

Incomprehensible.
Those letters are priceless. It's during times like this that I'm thankful to spend the day with my classroom full of little souls. xo

Pastor Sharon said...

This is wonderful. What a great way to spend the day.

One of the first things we were taught to do when I first started facilitating support groups for catastrophic illness, loss and grief, etc, we were taught to get children to write letters and draw pictures in a way that therapeutically made a difference.

You just got "Teacher of The Year", again. I love the way you do heart work with the children.

The news you received sounds like good news, thus far!

Let us all keep praying. And, I'm with you, praying for us all.

Gigi said...

Dammit! You made me cry again! Those letters are so very precious. And I'm praying for your student and all those in Japan with all my heart.

Amy said...

Just watching it on TV is more than my brain can comprehend. I can't imagine being there first hand, or even knowing someone who is there. You are an amazing teacher. Teaching your children about love and caring for others. It is real to them because of their sweet friend. Good Job Vodkamom! I'm sure she will love the letters once she gets them. I will pray for her and her family also!

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

those kids
we'd all go the hell in a handbasket
if it were'nt for the endless hope of those damn kids :)

prayers and prayers and prayers
and a donation to the Red Cross to match

Sue said...

I think in these days and times we all need prayers said for each of us as well!

Take care, Sue

noexcuses said...

You also have my vote for Teacher of the Year! I love to read the letters that these innocent and honest children write!

My daughter had six or seven Japanese exchange students over a month ago just before they went home. She has been able to contact everyone through facebook and they are all okay.

My thoughts and prayers continue for the people who have been affected by this horrible disaster.

Thank you Vodkamom, for being such an awesome teacher, and incredible woman!

duffylou said...

Amen

Mrs. E said...

We had a tornado that devastated our town--and it was absolutely dreadful. And our tornado, as bad as it was, is a drop in the bucket of what Japan is going through. I can't grasp what it must be like to be in that disaster. I feel so bad for that country--and am praying for all of them.

And you, my dear, are an amazing teacher to explain that whole situation to your little ones. Their letters are priceless!

Homschlr4ever said...

It's amazing how a 5 year old can express in a few words what it takes us lengthy paragraphs to explain. Thank you for showing pictures of their letters. Sometimes it is simply about love isn't it? and hope. Life is what it is but in the end hopefully we all be better people for it.

Cheryl Lage said...

Love the sweet sincerity of the your class' letters...

Am praying and wishing well right alongside you---and those kids. HOPE.

Ellie Mae said...

Seriously, you should be the teacher of the decade/millenium/whatever. You are so inspiring and I wish you had been my kindergarten teacher--she was NOT good. Praying you find out great news for you and your class and the rest of us. Thanks so much for sharing. <3

MJ's doghouse said...

|Well i really hope no news is good news...so sad....the whole thought of this is horrible...i have been living on an island and for years and years people have been waiting for 'THE BIG ONE"
anyhow....thanks for cheering us all up...and...i gotta ask...how was franks birthday party...

Joanie said...

I hope and pray your little student is safe. I pray for the people who have lost family and homes.

Lynn MacDonald said...

I hope the little girl is fine. I can't believe you can read those kids words and DID YOU SAY FRANK'S BIRTHDAY????

Jill said...

doesn't this devastation just make your skin crawl... oh the lumps in my throat.

the letters are darling - i love photographic evidence!

J.J. in L.A. said...

Awww! Love the class letters! It's good to know that your former student is probably okay. Hopefully you hear more soon.

Rick Daley said...

As my kids ohh and ahhh over the TV footage of the tsunami I keep reminding them how terrible the tragedy is. I hope your former student is OK.

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WeaselMomma said...

No news is good news! I'm glad that there is positive news and hope!

Robby said...

Even toddlers felt how painful it is for the family of tsunami victims..
Let's keep on praying for them.

Carla said...

So, BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN, thinks we are immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable and irresponsible. Wouldn't that describe his choice to post his drivel at this time on this site. In my opinion, VM, you are mature, unselfish, giving, stable and one of the most responsible women I know. And you are teaching these children how to be responsible, caring and giving too.

I pray the Japanese family is fine, and I pray for those in Japan who are not fine. It will be a very long time before Japan recovers from this disaster.

Frank's birthday?! There has to be a blog there!

Becca Salmon said...

VodkaMom: I think you are doing a fabulous job with those children. And the hope that your former student is safe is fabulous.

Also, boycott american women should have his IP address blocked. Nobody needs his crap.

Frank's birthday? Oh what a party that would be!

Rebecca said...

I hope she is able to get those letters! I pray they are all safe. What a sad place to be right now. I am amazed at the calmness in Japan, no looting or anything!

Oh, we need details on Franks birthday! That HAS to be good!

Magpie said...

I hope you get the letters to her.