I can’t help over hear you mumble the words “I hate the holidays” an hour before school let out for Thanksgiving break.
It was very noticeable that life was testing your strength and slowly things were becoming undone.
As a teacher I have become good at picking up on cues.
I noticed the smile that usually adorned your face was replaced with a blank stare.You looked uncomfortable, as if your mind was going a million miles a minute and yet words were coming out of your mouth in slow motion.
Your hair and clothing looked disheveled and the light in your eyes that had turned a muted gray. Your feet kept nervously tapping as I asked to have a chat in the art room. For some reason I saw the pain in your heart and it brought me back to a time I felt the world had taken the air right out of my lungs too.
Your story haunted me.
First and foremost you are an amazing student. Your determination to beat the odds and be the first high school graduate in your family is awe inspiring. I know when you say the odds are stacked against you that it is a complete understatement.
When you said November has been a cold month, it had a couple different connotations.
You talked about the bitter cold on the nights you spent huddled in your car when teeth chattering was natures cruel lullaby that rocked you to sleep.
You spoke of the cold when referring to your new boyfriend when he told you he loved you but proved the opposite as he smacked your face into the ground.
With tears in your eyes you spoke of nothing being more cold than spending the Holidays broken hearted, alone and homeless.
Listening to your story just broke my heart.
I write this letter because I need you to know, you are not alone.
Student, you can make it.
As I am so glad you are now living in a shelter and striving to pick yourself up after this storm, it is not always easy.
I know first hand that small acts of kindness can give the much needed reassurance that “this too shall pass”.
In honor of those that once helped me out of my darkest times and in complete adoration of your quiet strength and courage, I have painted a work of art that I wish to dedicate to you named, Benevolence. Thank you for always inspiring me with your strength.