Friday, January 29, 2010

Full Wolf Moon

I am so lucky to have people who are always looking out for me…and today I got a great piece of information from my husband’s nephew’s wife (thanks Beckie !) about the full moon tonight.

Tonight's full moon will be the biggest and brightest full moon of the year. It offers anyone with clear skies an opportunity to identify easy-to-see features on the moon. This being the first full moon of 2010, it is also known as the wolf moon, a moniker dating back to Native American culture and the notion that hungry wolves howled at the full moon on cold winter nights.

The idea of tonight’s moon being the brightest of the year made me think of John…he was such a bright light in the life of everyone who took the time to know him. I hear from his friends all the time that they think back to how funny was, or how talented, or what a good listener he was..etc…etc..etc..

I know I talk all the time about trying to be like John. To really listen to others, to take the time to “be in the moment” but today I want to take a minute to remind people to also share something of themselves with others…thereby helping others in a completely different way.

Everyone who knows me for even a day know I talk about John…I tell stories about how terrible his teachers in high school were to him and how he overcame it when he met some wonderful , “real” teachers at Syracuse. Ones who knew enough to look beyond the surface and see how smart he was, what a fabulous and persuasive writer he could be…and took the time to tell him so. And guess what..he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Newhouse School of Communication..quite a feat for a kid who couldn’t even get his high school teachers to induct him into the National Honor Society. (he was too unorganized) Even though he was the President of his class and constantly asked by those very teachers to help out with all their events… I use this example when I teach my graduate classes or the professional development I do in the hope that John’s story may help teachers become child centered. And I teach at Lesley University and work for Teachers 21…so I tell his story often…

But it is what happened last week during a workshop that has made me think all week…that I never knew I would be helping others when I tell that he died! I always tell teachers at my workshops my story, because I think it is important for them to know my credentials, and I always have to tell about John..it was a major factor in the choice of the job I have now. Well, after the workshop was over a young girl came up to me as they often do…but this time it wasn’t to ask questions about the presentation, it was to tell me that her husband had just died and she thought she could talk to me…and talk we did…about how we feel, how hard it is…and all I could think of the whole way home was how much like Mary and Lauren she was…but at least my girls had each other..this poor thing was alone…I thought about how many nights they sat on our porch drinking wine, smoking cigarettes (they have quit, thank God) and talking about what a mess their life had become. Now, Lauren has Tom and Mary has a career but this poor kid is alone…no one to talk to while she surely is doing exactly what my girls did…and I worried how is she going to move on? She really, truly, needs some “peeps”.

The really strange piece of this story is that the last course I taught had a woman in it that I had met at the only meeting of Compassionate Friends I ever attended. She lost both her daughters and not only did I connect with her at the meeting…we spent every break during the course talking about our situation..sharing strategies and feelings that only someone who has gone through this loss would understand…it was so nice to be able to say something that wouldn’t be perceived as weird ! So I had someone…and again…that poor kid is alone…sometimes John really has to hit me over the head with an idea!!

Anyway, my message to know how sharing a piece of yourself will help others. Will give them the courage to come to you to talk…to feel they are not alone…it is such a powerful gift to give to people…and something you would not be able to know about unless you take the first step and be honest and open. Good luck and I hope that you get to experience all the wonderful, kind, and generous people I have in the process!everyone this month is: Don’t be afraid to share yourself with others…you just never

2 comments:

Jill said...

Paula,
Stories like John's NHS ones always infuriate me!!! Of all people to not be given that honor.... ridiculous.... but now as a teacher it has taught me to look for the "diamonds in the rough".... to see who will enroll in beginning orchestra and find a niche for music, casting aside their reputations as a troublemaker, a bully, or someone who is "disorganized" (what musician isn't!?!?!??) I love reading your blogs. Johnny's memory is alive here every single day.
Love, Jill

Sue said...

You are so right when you wrote just being there and sharing you never know how much you can help some one. I find that I am shaqring my experience a lot lately. Especially with people at work, just getting through the stress.

Just need to say though that your son learned it from someone and I believe that was you. Not only were you lucky to have a son like him, but he's lucky to have you as his Mom. Take care and God Bless!