A sweet 6th grader approached my desk yesterday. She had been busy composing a letter filled with thoughtful words of hope and encouragement meant for the eyes of Henryville Elementary students. Her letter, along with those written by her classmates, would soon be mailed to one of the many towns devastated by the weekend’s path of tornadoes.
She asked, “Would that be okay if I draw a picture of a frog on my letter?”
“Sounds good to me, but why a frog?”
She explained, “Frogs are only able to leap forward; they can’t jump backwards. When you are going through a tough time it’s important to just keep moving ahead. You don’t want to get stuck thinking about things you can’t change. And it’s more important how you come out on the other side.”
The other side...
I reference “the other side” a lot when I talk about M. My version of “the other side” is the wonderful place and time that I get to see his smile, hear his laugh, and know in my heart that he is going to be okay. My words usually go something like this,
“I saw my son slipping away from us. We sent him to a military academy in September. Has that fixed everything? No, no, no – But, it has kept him safe. My little blog is a way for me to scream as loud as I can to keep this important dialogue going. And through writing, I have found hope again – and I’m not going to stop until my healthy, good son is definitely on the other side.”