Monday, 26 January 2015


The winds of change are blowing hard here.

This month James' dad passed on to the next life.  Although we knew it was coming, it is a strange adjustment.  This is the first time that someone we interacted with on a daily basis has left us, and the hole is keenly felt.  None more so in our family than for James.  James worked every day with his dad, and there were definitely long days when he saw his dad more than even me.  I was struck as James gave a eulogy at how he knew his dad much more than just from a father-son relationship.  His dad was his friend, mentor, confident, and work partner and those are so many roles to be left empty all at once.

In a family business, this change means even more.  Our earlier plans to leave the family business and start our own video production company (helping seniors tell their life stories) went on indefinite hold.  Without Doug, James was too integral to the business to leave at this point.  Which was sad because he really hasn't been happy in his work in a long time.  It felt like our dream was snatched just as it was becoming a reality.

But all this has meant even more changes.  We have decided that I will go back to school and get my Masters of Teaching.  The plan was that, since I'd missed the admission deadline this year, I would apply next year, and in 3 1/2 years I could be teaching full time, which would give James the latitude to  once again pursue the video business.

But we suddenly came across a hiccup.  Upon investigation, it turned out the deadline for this coming September was still open.  Things went into a bit of a tailspin while we considered moving up our plans.  It seemed a great opportunity to get us back on track sooner.  And yet there was Juliette who would still be home, and the boys getting off the bus after school.  Working out childcare (logistics and costs) while I went back to school seemed daunting.

In the mean time, I had decided to do some emergency supply teaching in our local schools.  This would provide additional income and also get me into the schools to help in faster hiring after I graduate.  So this morning I went out to drop off resumes.

I was greatly encouraged, as every secretary's face showed great relief at receiving my resume, especially as I noted I could teach French and music.  Then, at one school, I heard my name called out. I turned and came face to face with an old friend.  When I told her what I was doing, her face broke out in a smile.  She was the school's music teacher, and was glad to finally have a name to call when she needed to take a day off.  She promised to put in a good word, and confided that emergency supplies are called in often.

I felt good as I drove to the final school, the high school around the corner from our home.  As I parked in the parking lot, I paused.  I realized that this was another school in which the music department was quite big, and I knew the department head well.  I was in a bible study group with his wife a few years back, and I had lobbied for him to take over leading our community band.  I sat in the car and pondered the question I had this morning: should I start university this fall, or wait one more year?  Given how well the job search was going, it occurred to me I could take an extra year to work.  Maybe this was the best plan?  I sent a prayer of gratitude up, and then a plea for direction.  If I am meant to work, please let my music teacher friend be in the office when I go in, so that I can hopefully get work in this school (closest to home, and in a subject I love.)  I jumped out and went into the large, sprawling school with over 100 staff, and went into the office.

And came face to face with that teacher.  He was the only one in the office.

My voice broke as we spoke, he unwell with a flu and I nervous and astonished.  I handed my resume in and he said he hoped to see me soon.

I had my answer.

Yes, change is coming fast and furious right now, but today I have a little blessing of peace about it all.

(Psalm 136 -  O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.)

1 comment:

Kevin H. said...

Condolences. To you, your family, and above all, James. Wishing you the best for the coming year. (And beyond.)

I'm sure you guys can do about anything you put your minds to -- but nevertheless: good luck!