Valentine Lesson

Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with. –Mark Twain

I just had someone from Australia email me that they found my website late last night. She wrote that we only make it through by our faith and “all the others who come to our aid.”

It is remarkable to me that no matter where I am, at home or traveling, I feel the strength of others encouraging me on my path. It reminds me of another quote I read this week by Ralph Waldo Emerson, I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.

We ventured into town yesterday with a goal to explore and buy groceries. Walking on the boardwalk we heard tiny voices singing and followed the high pitched notes like Hansel and Gretel hungrily following bread crumbs. Around the corner we found a white-boarded one room school house with twenty-five little preschoolers squished inside like little ants in an anthill. Their bodies moving in a similar fashion, never quite sitting still.

The teacher, Ms. Katy, invited us in to be guest speakers. She was expecting someone else who didn’t show up, so we were a welcome surprise as she needed someone to talk about the theme of love for Valentine ’s Day.

Jordan and Madelynn savored the chance to teach a real class. Making up our lesson on the spot, I was glad no one in our audience was over the age of four. I asked Jordan how we can show love and he said, “By helping our mom.” I asked Maddi the same question and she said, “By helping our teachers.” Ms. Katy winked at my daughter and I could tell they were immediate friends.

We taught the children a song that Grandma taught us to the tune of Ring around the Rosie:

God’s love is amazing. Children thank and praise him.
Love Him. Serve Him. We all bow down.

The children, with skin the color of cocoa beans, giggled and stared, more interested in watching Jordan and Maddi than anything we were saying or singing. Ms. Katy then asked the students to share a song with us and in calypso rhythm they stood and clapped with voices raised:

Has anybody told you they love you today?
Has anybody told you they love you today?
Put me on the list. Let me be the first.
God loves you and I do too…we love you today!

I can’t get the tune out of my head. I love the line, “Put me on the list…let me be the first.” Wouldn’t it be grand if we said that to those we love every morning?

When the teacher discovered my birthday is on Valentine’s Day, she had the children sign an oversized red and white card decorated with construction papered hearts. She told me our visit was meant to be. In that moment I was thankful for friends old and new that help me find love no matter where I am.

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