Tess even asked to go to the parking lot of her old school to look through the windows one last time, and we did… with masks on. Ours was a gritty daycare. Nothing fancy, but full of truly loving people. There’s an emptiness in leaving a place you love.
Last night, our child persisted, “No, Mommy. Now. I want to pray for Ms. Tiana now.” I will confess to being a bit exasperated. We all get that way sometimes. It’s not that I didn’t want to pray for Ms. Tiana; I just wanted to do it later. I didn’t even look at the rest of my family. After a few exchanges with my child, I just said, “OK, fine. We will pray.” And I prayed for Ms. Tiana. I felt a little awkward interrupting our family’s Father’s Day dinner for this prayer, but we all prayed, and we moved on. Our child seemed satisfied.
Then, late last night, I emailed Ms. Tiana just to let her know that we had prayed for her and that we hoped her job search was going well. She responded almost immediately. “Awww...It’s amazing how God sends comfort through others. It just happened to be my Tess. I was feeling a little down because of Father’s Day. My dad passed away last month due to Covid, so it was a little difficult. This message came right on time and warmed my heart. Please let Tess know that I miss her so much and I know she will do great at her new school. Please give her a hug for me.”
I teared up. This virus stinks. It closed our beloved preschool, but more importantly, it is taking the lives of so many… and the numbers are higher in Communities of Color, Ms. Tiana’s family included. I hate that this virus is hurting so many people. I also hate that systemic injustices mean that some people are far more at risk than others. I’m sad that I can’t be with all of you to share this story in person, and I’m sad that I couldn’t just call up my colleague and tell her the story.