i need a lot of love to get me through…

May 25, 2012

I knew it was gonna be bad. Lucy’s beloved kindergarten teacher (the one that totally gets her), Mrs. Hines blew a disc in her back. This poor magical teacher soldiered on for weeks trying shots and meds but in the end she needed surgery. She was going to be out for 4 weeks.

Lucy did surprisingly well the first 3 weeks, the substitutes were rough but she stretched herself. She cried a little here and there but we looked at pics of Mrs. Hines, told stories of her goodness, counted the days until she would be back and Lucy pressed on.

The fourth week came, we were mad excited and then the bomb got dropped. Mrs. Hines would not be back for 3 more weeks and the substitute was awful. Luce started to fall apart. Mornings and nights of crying, stomach aches, my girl was down right almost depressed.

“I’ve just been waiting so long mom!” she said.

“I know baby, I know.” I replied, not really knowing what else to do. *sigh*

About a week later, she came to me one afternoon about to cry…and to be honest, I just didn’t have it in me to do it again. I sent her to Jorge thinking he could put in a few Mrs. Hines coping hours. Apparently we were all done with the situation because a few minutes later she came back.

She sat down hard in the chair, tears rolling down her face.

“Mom!” it was the tone of pain, and I instantly looked up.

“Mom, I am not getting the support I need!”  I sat shell shocked by her honesty and ability to call it in.

Her shoulders slumped.

“Mom, I need a lot of love to get me through this. ” She said while heaving.

She is six. And I was in total attention and awe…that she could say what every person on the planet feels and so desperately needs in the middle of something that feels so big. Why don’t we all do this? Just lay it out.

I had done every ritual I could think of…except the kitchen altar candle.

“Oh Luce, the only thing I can think of is when I am really sad and just can’t hold anything more I go to the kitchen altar candle. You know that one next to the sink where I do dishes? I just write down everything I need and what my heart is feeling and I light the candle and let the candle hold it for me. Do you want to try it?” I said.

She nodded her head and promptly filled up 5 slips of paper with her needs.

And when it was time to light the candle I remembered I had something special in the car. My dear friend Suzanne had just sent me one of her sweet sacred strikes. A tiny match book covered in her art with this message:

use these strike on box matches to light a candle in remembrance, as a prayer, a wish, or a blessing, as you strike the match, breathe deeply, breathing in love and breathing out love. breathe peace. breath hope. breathe light and love.

…and I looked at her little face as she breathed deep, following each instruction, taking all of it into her heart. I let her light the match and candle and we sat quietly for a moment. Together.

she asked me to take a picture of her face so she could remember

The next day she carried the tiny piece of art that came with the matches in her pocket to remember someone and something is holding it for her…and that the love you need to get you through is possible.

Maybe we just have to ask (but why is that so hard sometimes?)…or call it in the place of vulnerability and courage…and light a candle.

The candle is in the comments today my friends…feel free to write on your slips of paper, there is all the love you need…


33 Responses to “i need a lot of love to get me through…”

  1. Melanie B. Says:

    A wonderful story with amazing pictures. This brought tears to my eyes. What a big girl for stating what she needs. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Lisa Says:

    I will remember to say, “I need a lot of love to get ME through”. Smart words for such a wee thing…. thank you Lucy :o)

  3. Mary Prekop Says:

    Thanks for this… I love your blog! We gather rocks in our family to carry our wishes and worries. We like to look for ones shaped like hearts when we are on vacations. Peace

  4. My eyes are brimming…there are multiples….a blink and it comes into focus…what a beautiful sharing…I’m passing it on…and making match boxes! Thank you Lucy…for sharing your pain…your parents taught you well.

  5. Jenna Says:

    Please share this with sweet Lucy!

  6. oh, I bet Mrs. Hines Loves Lucy for missing her so much! Can’t we go visit Mrs. Hines…. chalk her sidewalk or something– I think Mrs. Hines needs cards filled with glitter– I have a master’s in elementary ed..I’m sure glitter would help. I’m sure if Lucy had whole bunch of fun, that would make Ms. Hines smile and feel better.

  7. Kristi Says:

    A beautiful story and lesson! A good reminder that what may seem small to us, is so much bigger to the little people in our lives.

  8. Jen Bailey Says:

    Wow..in tears after reading this. So poignant and beautiful Patience. Lucy is so wise for her age to be able to ask for something so powerful. I think sometimes we are deeply moved to take care of our pain. For someone as young as Lucy to understand that is extraordinary. But then, so is her mom so the apple really doesn’t fall far. : )

  9. Martha Says:

    Beautiful post. I am 62 years old and still struggle asking for what I need… Lucy will have a beautiful life!! Imagine being in touch with yourself from that young age – literally blows my mind!!

  10. Vanessa Says:

    So touching and what a smart girl to ask for what she needs! I am going through a painful, hard break up and really struggling with getting or giving much right now – and this reminded me to ask for the support and love that I need right now. Thank you Lucy 🙂

  11. Angela Says:

    Wow, that is so deep, so true. Wish I had learned that when I was six! But I’m so blessed that I can help my kids. Thank you for sharing your life, your insights…We all need a lot of love to get us through…I grew up thinking I had to take care of my own problems because everyone else’s were more important than mine. That my pain would be a burden to someone else. We all have pain, and it helps to be supported and loved as we grow through it. Each of us is precious.

  12. sarah Says:

    I wish we all had the presence of mind to ask for the support we need… and I’m so imam teased by your honesty. Sometimes when my sweet sensitive 6 yo needs one more round of love and comfort at the end of a long day, I too send her on too dad… I think she could really use a ritual like this, me too actually. Thanks!

  13. This is beautiful, Patience. Thanks to you and to Lucy for sharing your story. I’m so inspired by Lucy’s ability to say directly what she needs. That’s something I’m working on. Hugs to you both! 🙂

  14. What an incredible mom! You inspire me. Thank you!

  15. Brenda Says:

    Lucy’s words are beautiful…and it was more beautiful that you heard them. You took the moment and made it something big for her…supportive for her…and she will remember these things for her babies someday. I’m so sorry that Mrs. Hines is not well…and I’m so sorry that any kid has to experience people who are unkind. :/ Love to you all!!

  16. Really wonderful message!

  17. jules423 Says:

    Beautiful – very inspiring. I have my Hope candle, made by Angee Webb,. that I light for courage and strength but have not for awhile. I will tonight. I like the idea of the little notes – have done that too – but this puts a little bit different bend on things for me – I like the idea of writing down “what I need.” Thanks Patience and Lucy!

  18. Nina Says:

    Wow. Simply stunning in her wisdom and asking for/articulating what she needs AND for having a family who helped her develop that and be able to say it with support for her feelings. Thanks so much for sharing.

  19. Dear Lucy,
    What a precious lesson you have taught me. If it’s okay, I will keep the photo of you and the candle to remind me what I learned from you today. I don’t have any children of my own, but I am a teacher, and I have sort of known that my students love me, but I have never ever thought hard about how deeply they may love me and need me in their lives right now. You have taught me to understand that no matter how kids may act, they may be caring about me and needing me very much, deep down inside. That is a very, very important lesson for me, and I thank you. When I go into my classroom, I try very hard to radiate love to all my students; that is a big part of my teaching. But I never stopped to think about what my students’ love might look and feel like to them.

    For my sake, when Mrs. Hines comes back to your classroom, I hope that you find a way to let her know just how much a place in your heart that she holds. She deserves to know that her teaching and her goodness has inspired such deep love and loyalty in one as wise and mature and, well, as SPECIAL as you. Knowing this might just help make her able to get through her own troubled times someday, for she will be able to think of your love and know that someone always holds her in her heart of hearts. Your own heart will be like an always- lit candle for her, and there isn’t anything you have to do to make it so. It already IS so. All you need do is tell her, so that she will know it, too.

    There is a famous song that says this, and here I give it to you:

    “The love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay
    Love isn’t love ’til it’s given away.”

  20. Oh man! Such a great story— I hope she continues to ask for help when she needs it during rough times. Thank you!

  21. Erin Wilson Says:

    Dang, I want to be her when I grow up.

    In the spirit of Lucy’s earnest, faith-filled abandon, I’m bellying up to the candle. I need to know I’m more than a giant pain in the Universe’s ass. My head knows, but my heart has never quite been able to get on board.

    **blowing out my match**

  22. pathwriter Says:

    What a wonderful story…sharing. 🙂

  23. pathwriter Says:

    Reblogged this on pathwriter and commented:
    kindness girl and her daughter give us a lesson in asking for what we need….

  24. Your daughter is learning something very valuable in her young life…all about disappointment and that sometimes there is nothing to do except find a way to cope and go through it. How precious her words to express herself to you. Doing something tangible and loving as a way to help her, is a beautiful example of what a mother’s love is all about.. caring and compassionate…A wonderful story…Diane

  25. Annie Delgado Says:

    What a beautiful story and the photos are precious. Thank you.

  26. Beth Says:

    What an amazing daughter you’re raising. I have taken her lesson to heart. I need to learn to say “I need a lot of love to get me through this” when a lot of love is needed.

  27. Amber Says:

    I love this so much.

    I hope that Lucy has found what she needs to see her through – and I hope that Mrs. Hines is feeling much better really, really soon.

  28. Jery Says:

    You and your daughter are amazing..what a wonderful thing for her to be blessed with a mom like you.

  29. Such a beautiful post, thanks for sharing! I’ve been following you on Twitter for awhile (and am admittedly not good at Twitter) – so excited that it just dawned on me that I could also follow your blog on WordPress (which I am good at). Also serendipitous that I then stumbled on this post which was just what I needed to hear that day. I’m in the middle of a really positive change, but even positive change takes adjustment and I had forgotten that it is okay to acknowlegde that.

  30. […] why it just occurred to me last week that I could also follow her blog on WordPress is beyond me. This post is a perfect example of the amazing-ness contained there! If you are feeling un-saitied after my […]

  31. JoAnn Says:

    Thank you for such a beautiful post. A friend sent me this link because she knew I was at a low part in my life and thought I needed it and I sure did, it helped me out this weekend so much. I keep re reading it. What a amazing little girl.

  32. heather childress Says:

    One of my favorites that I have read so far here @ kindness girl! The candle as a tool to let go and let god will be one my daughters and myself use. Truly love it…..Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful post.

  33. Bessie Says:

    I believe in rituals and taking time to feel your feelings. This speaks to me because I have been needy and feeling alone quite a bit this past month and frustrated with people in my life who do not know how to support me or choose to believe I am too emotional needy. So, this is a good reminder to me to focus on a ritual and writing things down helps me out a lot, so I ought to start writing in my journal again and find a candle and paper to let go of those things weighing on my mind. I am glad that Lucy got your attention and that you heard and met her need. You have so many tools at hand and that is important. Thank you for the lesson and the reminder to take care of ourselves.

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