Oct 08, 2012
Today is my mom's birthday. She would have been 56 today, but instead, I'm celebrating the day of her life without the presence of her life for the first time in my life. It's not very easy to accept, despite any well-meaning advice to reminisce on fond memories and all. The day is dreary and rainy and a dark, cold gray outside as well, which doesn't help.
And to top it off, I just found out that the principal/headmaster of my sons' private Christian daycare and elementary school passed away yesterday morning--from cancer, of all things. I knew he'd been having health issues for a few years but I never knew what they were until finding out of his passing today--of all days to find out. I honestly wouldn't be surprised to find out at this point that colon cancer killed him too, just like it did my mom and my friend from church whose life it also took in 2010.
He was a wonderful man and also a pastor; everyone at the school called him Pastor Ron. He established the daycare and expanded it into an elementary school over 12 years, and he taught the Bible, art, and science classes. He was my oldest son's favorite teacher and enjoyed pretending to be Pastor Ron whenever I'd bring him to work by drawing pictures of Bible stories on my whiteboard while narrating. Because of Pastor Ron, my oldest son knows the Bible better than I do, and had the skeletal system pretty much memorized in pre-k because Pastor Ron would come in dressed as a mad scientist, carting in his "assistant" Mr. Bones, a life-sized plastic skeleton that he'd dress up in funny hats and outfits.
I've had my kids in that school over a period of six years, and during that time, he also had a great influence in my life with his kindness and thoughfulness. The day I found out my mom would be battling colon cancer for the second time (she passed away in her third battle six months ago), I arrived at the daycare to pick my son up and Pastor Ron noticed how sad I looked and asked if I needed to talk. He prayed for my mom and my family there in the hallway of the school. He always knew all the kids by their names and personalities, and also their parent's names. He made a point to make his school a very personable place in which he made every effort to be involved.
I told my son this morning before taking him to school that Pastor Ron had passed away yesterday. He took it better than I thought, but I could tell he was trying hard to fight back tears. He also knows it's his grandma's birthday today, and she was more like a second mom to him than a grandma; they were extremely close. All he said this morning, after staring at me for a few moments like I'd just smacked him over the head, was, "Pastor Ron...was my favorite teacher. My...favorite person at school."
I did the best I could to reassure him that Grandma and him are going to have a big party in heaven today for her birthday and his arrival. That seemed to help him a bit, but it still breaks my heart that my seven year old son is becoming more familiar with death of loved ones and friends that I think he should be at this age. In just two short years, my family has been through three deaths of family and close friends/acquaintences from cancer. And for each death, my son has been old enough to realize what death means, what it is.
I'm just so sick of cancer. I hate it. And at this point, I feel guilty for wondering to myself, who will it be next, huh? Whose life will it steal next?! Which family member, which friend, which person who means a great deal in my life and my kids' lives will break the news of their diagnosis next year?!
I literally am so sickened over dealing with death and remiders of cancer every time I turn around (especially with October being breast cancer awareness month) I want to scream. How can you celebrate life and really focus on how wonderful it is when people who mean a lot to you are dying around you, and causing you to wonder how many more you'll lose in what seems the blink of an eye?
I'm an emotional wreck today. :-(