A little bit of caring

This is something that happened to me recently.
As I tidied up the spare room, a square of brown card fell out of a box. It had: To Elizabeth written on it and there were a few lines printed beneath her name. They saidThe items in this glass have a special meaning:The umbrella is to get you under cover when the storm is about to break.

The sticker is to remind you that we all stick together.
The stars are to remind you to shine and always try your best.
The gummy bears are for when you have had one of those days.
The Jersey caramels are to tell you that everyone has a soft side. You just need to find it.
The bubbles are to blow your troubles away.
The tea light is for the times you need to be guided.
The muesli bar is for when you need an energy boost.
The balloon is to give you a lift.
The shell is to remind you that summer is just around the corner.
The glass is half full and NOT half empty.
The phone number is to tell you that you can call when you need to talk 8945 2669
As I read this, a face came up, a girl who waited at the corner of the highway past the Crocodylus Park near Darwin in Australia’s Top End each morning to get a ride with me. She was the Elizabeth whom the note was meant for. I used to hand these as a care package in a wine glass, to Year 12s in their final terms of school, along with the things listed. She had not come to school on the day her class got these.Amazingly I re- read a friend’s post about her daughter’s last day of school about an hour ago.

Final years, last days…these make teachers sad too. At least I felt sad anyway. I then got to thinking about that batch of Year 12s, two now married and expecting their first house to be built as they get ready to welcome their first baby. One that has gone on to work in Bangladesh. Other Year 12s, like the girl who got her supervisor to stop me from leaving because she had seen me and was working at a checkout and did not want to call out. When I walked over, we hugged each other and did a happy dance!

Even further back, the first student I ever taught anything to, apart from my own children; little Jasmine at Alawa Primary School, who sat with me during the day we had to observe a school at work. It was supposed to excite us about teaching. Two of the male students left,saying teaching was not for them! I was hooked though; a little girl telling you that you can be her school mummy will do that every time!

I always think of something a lecturer told me in university here. ‘The only two professions where parents trust you with their children are doctors/nurses and teachers; don’t feel bad because you don’t make as much money as the docs, you are just as appreciated, given enough time.’

brown card
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