July Challenge – Life’s Lessons

I need to rant a little today. This is actually my post for July 4, but I was too tired when I got home to write.

I spent the day helping my sister-in-law, along with my husband and brother-in-law, whose sister she is. This was a very emotional day for all of us. Pauline is 74 years old. My husband is the youngest child by quite a few years of 5 children, Pauline is the second eldest. We spent the 4th of July compacting her life into an 8′ x 8′ x 12′ storage unit. She has lived in the same home for 47 years, most of her life. This home is in a part of CA where it has quite a bit of value, even though it is old, however, circumstances have left her without her home and needing to get out of it in a hurry.

She does have a share of the responsibility. She allowed her child to take out a mortgage on the home which was paid for completely, and her child did not pay the mortgage and lost the home. The difficult part is that since her child took over the home and has been living there, it has not been cared for or cleaned, and she has been living in a portion of the house while this is going on. We have been out there twice to help her make decisions about what pieces of her life to save, and what has to go. The emotions are running the gamut from anger to despair.

I have to believe a portion of this is good. The house and grounds are large, and difficult to work with being on a hillside. She cannot handle it herself, which is why having her child move in to help and eventually take over seemed like a good idea. She is moving to a mobile home park, where she will have a smaller home to care for, and people around her. This should be good.

As for my niece and her husband, I have no idea what their plans are. I know that it is good they will no longer be living with Pauline, that has been an extremely stressful thing for her. I pray that she can now relax and have the “golden years” she has been hoping for. After 74 years of living, teaching, nursing and serving others, she certainly deserves it. BTW, my niece is a math teacher. I think this hurts me more than anything, to know that she has the knowledge to have made different decisions and didn’t.

This makes me think again about my part in teaching. It is so imperative that we teach not only our subject area, but the “life lessons” that our students will need to be aware of in order to survive. Content area is important, and as a math teacher I feel we teach an important subject matter just for daily living. The problem solving and critical thinking are life skills which are important in daily decision making and survival. So many of our students don’t have adults in their lives teaching them live skills. It is something that we owe them, and I have a renewed commitment to this after yesterday.

Thanks for listening.


4 thoughts on “July Challenge – Life’s Lessons

  1. druinok says:

    I don’t have any words of wisdom, but positive thoughts for Pauline and your family! This has to be a hard transition for her.

  2. elsdunbar says:

    I agree with you about embedding these skills into what we do on a day to day basis. It’s part of my philosophy. Thank you for sharing this piece.

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