Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ms. Farnan, our superhero teacher

As a young girl, and also in my adulthood, I have had the pleasure of connecting and knowing wonderful teachers and professors, who became my mentors, some of whom I am still in touch with. They have each played a special role in shaping me into the woman that I have become today.

Isis has had wonderful teachers in her life, but she really didn't build that solid, healthy, nurturing connection with anyone until last year...when we transferred her from the Oakland school to our public school in Union City.

There she met Ms. Farnan, half way through third grade.
And from day one, she has looked up to her with reverent awe.
She hoped, intensely, to be with Ms. Farnan for fourth grade as well.
And she did.
She was beyond thrilled!

We heard wonderful stories about Ms. Farnan every single day. Isis would even write stories for her class assignments with Ms. Farnan as the superhero who killed the monsters and zombies and saved the day. It was amazing to watch how much she connected with her and above all how much interest she showed in reading and learning since then. Isis always loved school and wouldn't miss a day for anything. There was one day last year when she was sick and I decided to keep her home from school. Isis , clutching her belly, "Mama, I will be okay. Can I please go to school. Today Ms. Farnan is going to read us a special book. I will try not to throw up in class! Please?" 

Still makes me chuckle.
She stayed home.

After Jesse passed, Ms. Farnan and the school community have been there for us and especially for Isis in so many ways.

They are family. 

Ms. Farnan made sure that Isis was okay in class and she made sure Isis got her personal space when she became sad thinking about daddy and needed a moment. All her wonderful classmates made cards for her, which we displayed at the service. Isis was so happy. And of course, she announced to the whole world that Ms. Farnan was coming to the service and that the rest of the family members could meet her then.

Ms. Farnan was also thoughtful to do some research and pick out some great children's grief books that we could read together.

"Tear Soup" was one of them.
We have read it together a few times and it has become one of Isis's favorites.
I knew she would love this book because of her love for cooking. 

A book that described grief, the uniqueness of grief, ways to handle grief, including a recipe to make tear soup...sure winner in Isis' world!

This is her favorite page in the book and we often use it a scale to measure how we both are feeling.

This post is dedicated to Ms. Farnan.

I know that you have affected Isis' life in a significant way and no matter where life takes her, I am sure Isis will look back, and fondly, and proudly remember you.

As parents, Jesse and I have always been huge fans and supporters of teachers.
Ms. Farnan continues to fuel that support.

Thank you Ms. Farnan.
We love you!
Isis and Ms. Farnan, Halloween 2011

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