04-12-11 / Oh How I Love My WOSE Family…..
It seems that I have spent quite a bit of time bragging on my large support system lately but I am blessed beyond measure. I not only have an amazing blood family, I have an amazing extended family. I mentioned how Aaron and I have different groups of friends that never seem to run in the same circles; I got to spend this afternoon and evening with a small part of my “work friends”. As a Speech Therapist I get the opportunity to know most of the staff on our campus. I have friends on each grade level, in the office, cafeteria staff, custodial staff, technology group and administrators; I cherish each of them. I love my West Orange Stark Elementary FAMILY. We truly are a family, we spend more time with one another than we do our actual families; sad but true. Matter of fact, as the state of Texas has made the foolish decision to cut spending in education and our family has been torn apart by lay-offs; we have all been made more aware of how much we really do love each other.
My room is positioned on the 1st grade hall and I have had the pure joy of becoming close friends with many of those teachers over the last few years. In recent months, we have tried to get together here and there for some “girl time”; aka, time away from the kids! We finally found a night that worked for all of us to be away from our families for a little while and decided on pedicures and dinner! As always, we spent the entire time laughing and behaving like total idiots; we’re all teachers and mothers to young children, this is a definite earned few hours of mindless conversation. As we piled out of our cars I noticed that Jenn had a giant gift bag that was clearly meant to hold a baby gift, I immediately began giving myself a pep talk in my head to ensure that I wouldn’t cry and ruin our good time. I had no idea what was in the bag, but I knew it was something other than she was claiming it to be. I knew it was something sweet and thoughtful that my girls had gotten for me; it was far more than that.
We sat down and ordered drinks and then they handed over the bag. I was honestly dreading opening it because I absolutely hate crying in front of people. I don’t care how long we’ve known each other and how much we love each other, I just prefer to keep my crying moments to myself. I immediately saw that it was a keepsake box, which I was amped up about since Thomas has gotten so many gifts and I need a special place to store them. As I opened it I got a tad bit overwhelmed. Inside was something called a prayer ring, I have never seen anything like it but I can honestly say it was an amazing gift to receive. It consisted of a pretty ribbon and all these cards attached. Each card was from a different member of my WOSE family and for obvious reasons I opted not to read any of them until I got home; I’m glad I waited because I cried like a baby. Not tears of sadness, sometimes it’s just tough for me to comprehend how much I am loved. As I started to dig, there were so many little gifts that meant so much to me, I love receiving gifts from people that truly know me! We received a year membership to the Houston Zoo, anyone that knows us well knows that we frequent the zoo more than your average family; this covers every single zoo we go to! We received two gift cards to two of our favorite places, one to bounce zone and one to chick-fil-a; might seem like odd gifts to some, but our family time is very important to us and these are places we enjoy spending time together. I will not forget to mention the puff paint, which has a funny story behind it that would mean nothing to anyone but me so I’ll spare you the details! Last but not least, there was a card enclosed with a restaurant gift certificate and a generous gift of cash. They were all quick to say that the staff on our campus had been giving for several months and they wanted us to spend it however we wanted. As I’ve mentioned several times in the past, it’s so humbling to be in this situation; I’d much rather be the one giving but feel very blessed to have friends that are much like myself and also love giving. They have all stepped up to the plate to help in any way possible and I will never have the words to show my true appreciation for that.
I cannot imagine being an employee anywhere else during this journey, I am surrounded by genuine love and concern. I work with and for wonderful people. I will never be able to express how I feel in spoken words and I’m not real sure I’ve done too great expressing it here. I just hope that my “work friends” know how much I love them, I hope they know that I don’t always say the right things and I don’t always express my feelings but I could never find a better group of people to spend so much of my time with. Good friends are hard to come by and I am truly the luckiest girl in the world. I have great friends surrounding me, no matter which friend circle they run in; they’re all amazing!