Yesterday, we made brownies. Maybe we did it because we didn’t have cookie ingredients in the house. Maybe it was because they sounded good. Maybe it was because deep down, I was struggling with the emotional baggage of the book about surviving losing Sam being released in e-version.
I don’t know what prompted us to make the brownies. What I know is that they weren’t the best ever made. New type of mix, maybe? I don’t know the reason, but the edges were hard as rock.
I seem to struggle with baking brownies. Often the edges are like hockey pucks. Maybe that was why Sam always took the middle of the pan — no hard edges.
In the midst of thinking about the brownies, I learned that a former student had died of an overdose, and it hurt more than I can express. I am so very tired of hearing that funny, loving, giving young people are being taken from us. I am so tired of seeing the broken hearts of families and friends.
Yes, I cried. Writing this now, tears are running down my face. This student made me laugh, even when I wanted to stay serious. She was loud, funny, and no matter what, always had a smile for me — even when I was having to be the disciplinarian. I ran into her last summer, and was so happy to see her, to get a hug, to see her always impressive fake nails and hear about her young daughter.
Then, after the tears, the anger came. When will we stop this epidemic? We need to stop pushing drug abuse and addiction to the side, we need to face the reality of the issue, and work as an entire global community to solve it.
2 thoughts on “Brownies with a Side of Rage”
As the time approaches that I need to decide whether to renew a teaching license or forge ahead in a new direction, I think back to the students I worked with over my sixteen years in the schools and the ones who seem to remember me when we run into each other. It seems that I made the most impact when I was working as a paraeducator and after school program aide than when I was a librarian. Maybe it’s because the students I see now from my para days are burgeoning adults freshly out of high school or even more thoroughly into young adulthood. I know I made a difference in some lives as a librarian, but the last years I held that position were so stressful its hard to remember the joys. I remember so looking forward to moving ahead with a teaching certificate and now I can barely encourage the young people I meet heading into the field of teaching, knowing that the politics of preference can defeat just about anyone. I did not fit into the mold someone had envisioned.
It is a fleeting joy-filled memory that flashes across my mind when I first think of Sam. My older son begrudgingly accompanied me to the summer camp program where I knew he would meet friends and had he and his brother sit with Sam and Ben. It was a recent conversation between my boys and I that I revealed some important ancestors from my side of the family-Abe Lincoln being the most prominent and recent. I can see Sam and Dan turning around to me and saying “hey Mom, we’re related! We both are related to George Washington.” Well, if my son is a relative of GW, I don’t know. But I know he made a friend that day, as I assured him he would, and that it was someone he shared a beer with when they both were finally 21.
Our children are always on our minds and just about everything brings back memories. So I’m not surprised you’d think about how Chris used to take a piece of brownie from the center.
The wind blows outside my office and I’m filled with a sadness I can’t even relate to Chad, except that even sadness reminds me of him.