Sunday, September 30, 2007

Journal of a Living Lady #308

Nancy White Kelly

Today is Saturday. It is coin shop day. I must change hats from being a school administrator to being a proprietor. It is quite a challenge to be responsible for a business with only one day a week to tend to it. And, to top it off, Buddy says jokingly that he needs to find me a third job. In almost the same breath, he tells me he is hungry.

Reluctantly I ask him to take charge of the coin shop. I amble across the drive-way to the house. In the kitchen I prepare soup and sandwiches. My mind tells me that there is something wrong with this scenario. I don’t complain. Buddy is a good man and his type is increasingly hard to find in this modern day.

Buddy is not a lazy man. He is always busy, but it is chosen business. He can go back to bed in the morning, or noon, or even afternoon if he wants. He has no time clock. He cuts grass, piddles in the shop or visits with friends while I work. Occasionally he will drop by the school and put up a bulletin board or two. I am envious.

My day starts early and never ends. His day is just so flexible. Mine is full of meetings and more meetings. Parents, students, board members, and community activists flood my life with visits, phone calls, and emails. Then there are the students who want me to watch every volleyball spike or quarterback sneak. There is never a day anymore that I feel caught up. My method in this madness is to assign priorities to my tasks. I do it by numbers: 1,2,3,4. Most days I am fortunate to get past the 1’s. Nobody is at fault. It is called the tyranny of the urgent.

The staff at Mountain Area Christian Academy is wonderful. They are professionals and don’t require micromanaging. In fact, they inspire me. Schools can survive for a while without an administrator, but would not last long without passionate, dedicated teachers and employees.

When the younger students, in their neat little uniforms, pass by me in the hall, someone will almost always say, “Good morning, Dr. Kelly.” That cheers me. The high school students stand in respect when a visitor comes into the classroom.

As I encounter courteous young people, it gives me hope for the next generation. Leaders of the past are almost gone. Like the Bible says, life appeareth for a while, like a vapor, and then vanishes away. We all are terminal.

Thankfully my six-month cancer scans came back “stable.” That is a good word when you are in the fourth stage of this awful disease. Though the cancer still shows in my bones, it isn’t spreading and hasn’t for over a year now. That is good news. The bad news is that cancer in the bones is painful. Nothing I do or take seems to stop the gnawing, aggravating drilling that penetrates my spine. Yet I am grateful for each day is a new day and for the opportunity to make a difference.

The Living Lady is still alive and productive. When my oncologist sees me, he points upward and says, “Miracle. Miracle.” I respond with a vigorous nod and point upward myself. I know a miracle when I am one.

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