My heart is big (almost the same size as my butt, actually). My heart is worn on my sleeve, it resides behind walls, it tears down walls, it's guarded, it's vulnerable, it's soft, it's hard, it breaks, it mends, it closes, it opens. I strongly believe that this is the case with just about every heart that beats.
Sometimes we are blinded.
Sometimes we are hurt.
Sometimes we are riding high.
Sometimes we just are.
Travis, as you all know, hurt my heart with his death. The part that holds his memory bleeds freely. And I thought it would never truly heal. Maybe I was wrong.
I have been using Travis.
He has been visiting my classroom, my students, my school, and me.
Last week our school's air conditioner was broken. Air conditioner? Yes, air conditioner. WE live in the south. It's still hot here. Really hot, and sometimes, unbearably hot. Due to the complete misery in the classroom, I took my classes outside for the teaching. And by the twisted fate of a broken air conditioner, I was able to share Travis's story with my class.
You see, we have a boy. I will call him boy. Not the best family, not the best situation, not the best choices available. He has two roads ahead of him. One filled with the same decisions his parents made. One that leads him to the same life he was brought up in. One that is easy for him to take because the way is already paved. Then there is the one that will be hardest. The one that forces him to break away from what he knows...to rise above all that he has known. Not an easy one. I was able to tell him the story of Travis. His struggle, his downfall, his rising from the ashes, and his ending. I told him of how even though claimed by death, he had become finally free.
As the words moved beyond my lips, I felt that I had lost all control over what I was actually saying. The story I was telling was ringing with power. I wish you could have heard it. There was true power there.
I think he heard.
I hope he heard.
My heart has started to heal.