Alot has happened this last week.......so I am just going to jot down a few highlights. Highlights meaning important....not necessarily "good."
Last Friday morning....We received some very sad news that Chuck's cousin Pam's daughter Jennifer (age 27) was killed in a car accident on her way to Pensacola Beach for the weekend with a group of friends. They were nearing the exit to Pensacola when it happened. Stormy weather, hydroplaning and flipping over an embankment.....sudden death. Jennifer was the passenger....the driver was her good friend and sustained only minor injuries.
While we are heartbroken for Pam and her family....I cannot help but think about the driver. Survivor's guilt must be the most horrible thing to deal with. Next to the loss of a child. Once again, I am reminded of how quick life can change.
This is a photo of the Mississippi cousins and second cousins taken at Christmas of 2005. Jennifer is the second to the left on the back row....standing by Will, who is next to Cameron. Jordan is sitting on the sofa in the pink tshirt. Jennifer will be missed.
Last weekend....was Will's prom and WRAP (Wilcats Right After Prom....the all night lock-in). His group traveled on Saturday to a beach house in Galveston for the 3 day weekend. Five parents took shifts and chaperoned the group of 14. Chuck and I chaperoned on Sunday from 10 am until 6 pm and then I stayed through Monday morning with another mom.
Heading into the weekend with the bad news about Jennifer, it was hard to be relaxed. But I worked very hard at it as the last thing a teenager understands is that they are mortal. Everytime one of the kids left the beach house to go down to the beach or got in their car to drive to the store or a beach further down....it was all I could do not to lecture them. I usually just said, "take care of one another" because they weren't going to listen anyway......and it's all in God's hands, right?
Chaperone is actually the wrong word to describe what I did for those 14 kids. I am going to use the term "maid service" as that is way more accurate. I cleaned, washed and dried beach towels, cut up watermelons and cantelopes, made meals, handwashed pots and pans, picked up stuff and more stuff, swept sand, threw away 2000 red solo cups, and took out several bags of garbage. And that was just on Sunday.
Monday morning....after serving a huge spread for breakfast, we (the other mom and I) had to get everyone moving and cleaning so we could check out by 11 am. After about 45 minutes of watching only 3 out of the 14 teenagers help clean and pack up, I was getting a little agitated with all the ones just hanging in the bedrooms or standing around. Or out hanging over the balcony. Not lifting a finger to help.
Me: (to Will's friend girl who was just standing around and blocking off the entrance to the kitchen) Are you just going to stand around or do you plan on helping us clean?
Her: What are you going to do about it if I don't?
Me: (Turned back around and went back to the sink.......)
Her: Yeah, you didn't think about that.......did ya?
Me: (OUCH.....she did not just say that to me! Roaring in my ears....must be my blood pressure soaring. Saying to myself....Be the adult. Be the adult.) Silence.
Okay, I admit I did confront her....but I didn't say it in a mean way....just like a "hey....are you gonna help" kind of way. I thought she just needed a little nudge.....and would respond with a "sure, what do you want me to do?"
So, I fumed the entire rest of the day and talked to Will a long time on Monday evening about his so called friend........he did not hear her comment but others did, including the other mom. I talked to Will about his integrity and how the friends he makes and hangs out with are a direct reflection of who he is. He doesn't get that. He likes her and says she was just kidding. I said she was not kidding....I don't like her and I would die if he ever spoke like that to an adult. He looked right through me as I was talking because let's face it....I am old, have always been old and would never understand how important his friends are.
Eighteen year olds. They want to be treated as adults, respected like adults.........but go ahead and clean up for them and whatever you do, don't even think about giving them a curfew or ask them where they're going. And oh, by the way, they need your cash.
Some have asked me why I didn't call her parents? Because I was trying to calm down and keep my mouth shut. Because I was afraid I would say their daughter was a little *&$$# and somehow I didn't think that would go over too well. So basically, I just didn't look at this girl for the rest of the morning and hopefully will not have to see her again. What would you have done?
The rest of the week.......flew by with preparing to shut down the classrooms for the summer. Taking down bulletin boards, packing up cabinets, checking in textbooks. We had our End of the Year Staff party last night. It was a success in that 50 staff members out of 97 showed up. Some karoaked, some got annoyed by karoake. Most drank and ate and drank some more. Mostly we just relaxed and talked and laughed. It's a funny time of year. Teachers are stressed out, tired and hormonal. But the end is so near, it's hard to be in too bad of a mood.
Today......was spent sending sympathy cards, doing some chores and ordering a wedding gift online. We made hotel reservations for a stay for Will's college orientation and a stay in Dallas for a wedding. The cat got stung by a wasp he was batting around and the dishes got loaded.
Life. You pay your taxes and then you die. Sure seems true this week.
Once again, you took someone way before we were ready to see her go. Your timing. Not ours. I pray that you would give Pam and her family the strength to get through the days and months ahead of them.
I pray you would give me the strength to keep my mouth shut when I should and give me the words I need when I need to say them. Thank you for my adult and almost adult children. What is required of me as their mother is changing now and I'm not sure of my role. Guide me. Guide them.
Amen........your child, Julia