Sunday, May 3, 2015

The classroom at the end of the hall



45 minutes before the funeral, I decided to go for a walk

Down the first-floor hallway, past bulletin boards and classrooms and turning left to see an old familiar stairway

With gray steps

And a solid railing

Something good to hold on to on a day like today

And making my way up two half-flights

And realizing I used to be quicker than this, much quicker

And coming out into another hallway that felt as familiar as any room in my childhood home

A place frozen in time from all those Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights of long ago

And knowing now why my feet had taken this path …


Moving toward the last classroom at the end of the hall

Except it wasn’t a classroom anymore

It was a storage area for AV equipment

And pausing at the doorway before going in, before placing a hand on the TV stand at the front of the room

In this hallowed space

In this space where Mom had stood and talked about Noah and the Judges and the 12 Apostles

And of Jesus

And I, and who knows how many other kids, had sat right there

Learning about God, learning to love Him

And here I was again, feeling like I was back in third grade

Weeping

Because my teacher was gone, and I missed her

And for just a few minutes, holding tightly to the memories before heading back down to the place where everybody was waiting

Feeling sad, very sad

But also grateful for the woman, and the church, who raised me.

Marilyn Jean McCluggage Allen

12 comments:

  1. Prayers are with you and your family.Hang tight to the good memories of your Mom,they will get you through the tough times.

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    1. Thanks for your prayers, David. God bless.

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  2. Grief seems to me a mingling of time and eternity, and we are pulled by the past and the future, and weeping is the only way to bear the pressure of that sense of being pulled so fiercely in different directions. Love goes so deep and hurts, though you wouldn't want it any other way. God bless you, Mike.

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    1. Exactly, Sheila. I admit, though, that sometimes I might want it another way. :) God bless.

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  3. Mike, I taught with your Mom in that classroom at the end of the hall. I loved your Mother and learned so many things from her. She was such a special woman. It was magical when she shared those stories and lessons. I have so many of her materials that she was so happy to share. I still share them with my students in Bible class here in College Station, TX. I have so many wonderful memories of times with your Mom. Cherish those memories that you have. I am praying for your and your family daily.

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    1. Thanks so much, Jennifer. I remember you and Mom teaching together. She loved it. May God bless you and your family.

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  4. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. She was lovely. I'm glad she lives on through you.

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. I appreciate your sweet words. God bless.

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  5. I was one of those who sat in your sweet mother's classroom. My perspective has changed as I now understand from experience the time, thought and prayer that goes into teaching children's Bible class. As we hurried up and down those stairs little did we know we were being gently molded and nurtured with nuggets of truth being stored in our hearts. I am sorry for your loss and grateful for your mother!

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    1. Thanks, Jill. Time, thought and prayer that goes into teaching children's Bible class ... well said. Mom loved every minute of it.

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  6. I was so moved by your post. My heart goes out to you and your family. She will be missed. I still have a card that she sent to me when I was in her class in second grade. Her influence is deeply felt by so many. There is no one else like her. God Bless!

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    1. I appreciate your sweet words, Amy. Mom was always a thoughtful card (and letter) writer. God bless.

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