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something in the stars

It’s been a difficult couple weeks over here.  Yesterday at the police station, on my third visit in 48 hours, the chief inspector asked if I’d read my horoscope lately.  “It must be something in the stars,” he said sympathetically.  Then he made me eat a plate of noodles and told me not to give up.  He said everything would be okay and he looked so authoritative in his uniform, I believed him. 

It’s been one thing after another, after another, one of those weeks where every time my phone rings it takes me a few seconds to gather the courage to pick it up.  The hard thing about loving these kids so much is that when something bad happens it can totally knock me off my feet.  When we built Kopila Valley, I honestly (and naively) thought I could pack so much love and goodness into it that my children would be safe and out of harms way and make all the right decisions... forever.  If only having kids (and teenagers) were that easy.  Learning these lessons is hard and the more I love them, the harder it gets.  

Yesterday, on top of everything else going on, we found out that two of our students’ mother passed away unexpectedly.  The girls got called out of class with the news and sent home while I was in town sitting with our local education minister discussing my visa extension and our high school registration.  By the time my Dad and I got over to their little mud hut, 20 minutes up the road, the air was cool and the sun was setting.  We found a few neighbors and extended relatives sitting outside as they explained what happened.  When I looked inside the mud hut I saw our little girls’ mom laying there on a pile of hay and wondered if that was the way the girls had found her too.  I pretended to listen to the entire story but I really just wanted to get away from the dead body, find the girls and make sure they were okay.  Sure enough, we crossed paths down the dirt road and when they saw me they burst into tears.  I really didn’t want to cry so I clenched my throat, gulped down my tears and somehow attempted to give them a talk about how everything was going to be okay and we were there for them and yaddy yada yah because really, what can you say to two little girls who just lost their mom?  Who have already been dealt an incredibly challenging deck of cards in life, and have recently gone from begging on the streets to being hard working confident young students. It didn’t seem fair.

I kept asking them if they needed anything again and again.  

"I mean anything, anything at all?  Tell me what you need?  Tell me what I can do, how I can help...”  

I was thinking of every last physical thing I could give them.  Food, money for the funeral, clothes. Something to somehow make things easier.

Pooja, one of the little girls looked at me and interrupted, “just your love.  just love me.”

So I told them how much I loved them.  That it was more than I could possibly ever say in words.  More than I could ever reach with my two arms.  I held them as tight as I could and told them everything was going to be okay.

Reader Comments (10)

It sounds like you did the best thing of all, Maggie. So many people you don't know are rooting for you and your family and your school...I hope the stars shine for you soon.

November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan

So glad that the girls have you, and holding you all in my thoughts.

November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSusanne in Germany

Hey Maggie, I'm reading your blog since I first saw your Do lecture video, but somehow I never thought I should leave a comment. But lately I feel that I too would like to assure you that more people are following your story than you think, send you energy and wish you, the volunteers and the children all the love and luck there is.

November 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterreka

I don't know you. I'm a 4th grade teacher and since I read about you when looking for articles to use in order to teach compare&contrast last year, I was moved by your bravery and dedication. You and your God-graced spirit is what your kids (no matter how old, they'll always be your kids) need and no matter what you give them, tangible or not, it's what they'll feel, clench to, remember, and maybe give to someone else in need some day. You are their inspiration and mine too. Maybe it feels like you can't say and do the right things when they're so in need, but the woman you are-animalistically protective, caring and pure-is exactly WHY you're in their lives and why they're in yours. Thank you and your family for being in this world and for doing all you do. God bless you. :*T truly moved to tears.

November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachael

Maggie when I read all that has happened in the last month in your father's blog, I just want to send as much love over to everyone at the school as I can and especially to you. I am so glad for all the joy that is mixed in, and for all the smiles we see on the kid's faces. We all send you a huge hug for all your strength and to take away the sadness.

November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobin Collier

I am so sorry to hear this news.
Give the kids an extra hug and let them know you have 100's of people sending love their way.
You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCara Valentino

Wishing you all well, a sustained time of calm and I will continue to light many more butter lamps for all. Much love and prayers.

November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTeri

I admire you for what you've done and in this case for being able to hold your composure. I'm glad these kids have you around.

November 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOscar Gonzalez

Maggie, you made me cry. You have a heart as big as the world and great strength. Those little girls are lucky to have you in their lives. Much love.

December 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLorraine

Sending more love and strength your way. You and all your kids are amazing!

December 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZanna

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