After the other parents left she came in and told me the name of her child. I mentioned that I had missed him today, as he had been absent. She said that they had some family problems and he couldn't get to school until the afternoon. I told her I was sorry to hear that and that I hoped everything turned out okay. That is when she haltingly told me that her cousin had passed away. I told her how sorry I was and we agreed that our community had seen too much death lately.
We continued discussing her son, she told me a few warning signs to watch for, that he liked to day dream. Then after an awkward pause she mentioned that she had another son at our school, the name she mentioned was one of my former students who has brain cancer. I had secretly been hoping that his cancer was gone because he looks like he is doing so well. I shared with her that I had heard they had recently had an appointment at Primary Children's Hospital. That is when she told me that his tumor has spread to other parts of his brain. The drugs that he had been taking were to slow down the growth of the tumor, but it was back. They now had to do radiation.
The Navajo are not big criers, so it is always alarming for them to be around me, I cry a lot. A few tears leaked out as she told me about her son and I told her, "I will cry for you." We talked a while longer about her children. A few more tears leaked out. As she left we did the traditional hand shake and the "nice to meet you." Then out of the blue she gave me a big hug and said, "Thank you," and she walked away.
Oh, how I love people. We are all carrying around burdens. I hope that we can have compassion and let others share their burdens with us a to carry a little. So many have listened to me and have helped me lighten my load. If you ever need me to, I will cry for you.