Eighteen months ago, God started me on the most amazingly unexpected journey. I get to teach senior citizens (and other willing souls) the ins and outs of jewelry design. Some classes are beginners classes where we work to put beads on string. Others are more advanced. But in all classes, we have the most amazing time of fellowship.
I have learned a lot from my seniors over the past year and a half. I've learned that life isn't fair; that bodies don't always work the way we want them to; that we aren't always in control of our circumstances; that Alzheimer's and heart disease and cancer suck. But the most amazing thing I have learned from my senior students is how to love unconditionally.
We've been through a lot together: fights, arguments, laughter, tears, stories of days gone by, sharing of recipes, sharing of secrets....but regardless of what has happened, every single class has ended in touching smiles, hugs and pleas for me to come back again. Each student has touched my soul in a way that is hard to describe to others.
I have lost several students in the past few weeks. Each time I see the name in the paper, its like someone has kicked me in the stomach. I know that they have shed their earthly body for one whose legs work perfectly; whose eyes can see; whose mind is clear.
I am happy for them. But I am selfish for me, because I will miss them dreadfully. I'll miss seeing what color Mrs. Ward's fingernails will be this week; or what amazing design Mrs. Maguire will come up with; or the way that Mr. Hacker tells me how he fell in love with Mrs. Hacker. I'll miss the laughter and smiles and hugs that follow.
But I am eternally grateful that God has crossed our paths. I am thankful that for a brief moment that I got to be a part of their remarkable story. It was an honor and privilege to know them. And I cannot wait to see Mrs. Ward's fingernails again :)