Woke up early this morning, relieved that it was Friday, then remembered that it was the two-month anniversary of Mark's death. How can it already be two months? There are times it seems like forever since we lost him, other times when it stings just like it were yesterday.
But we had a busy day planned, and life must go on. It was student council election day at the boys' school, so I made sure that we talked on the way there about the importance of both winning and losing graciously, because I didn't have a feeling one way or the other about their chances. Whenever there are only 20 or 22 kids in a class, and six of those are running, elections can be won or lost over a single vote. We thought (incorrectly) that there were two slots in each of the 4th grade classes, but knew for sure there was only one slot per 3rd grade. I said a quick prayer for both boys as I headed back to the truck.
Raced home, threw a lunch together, and headed to the preschool for my last day of substitute teaching. I had 12 three year olds, and did fine until about 1pm. The noise and general busyness of the group began to get the better of me, so we cleaned up the room & I turned them outside onto the playground until time for parents to pick them up. I quickly relaxed on the bench outside, watching them play and burn off energy while lots of monarch butterflies made their way across the landscape. When it was time for me to go, I cried a few tears, thinking it would be awhile before I felt up to being here again in a teaching capacity.
Headed to the school a few minutes early, wanted to check to see that the boys got their stu-co posters, since they like to keep them. As I headed down the hallway, a 1st grade teacher called out to me, "Congratulations, proud mama!"....I quizzed her quietly, "Which one?" to which she squealed, "BOTH!". Both Howell boys were elected to student council! I was so happy, I burst into tears.
Now, it doesn't take much to dissolve me into tears, and I felt a little silly crying over this. But they were tears of happiness, sadness, gladness, all at the same time. Sad that their daddy wasn't here to witness the excitement, but glad that these two little boys, chips off the old block, were going to serve together on student council. And I think Mark knows. Actually, I have no doubt that he knows, because heaven wouldn't be heaven for Mark H. Howell if he couldn't see his boys. And today, I can bet his chest puffed out, and he gave that familiar nod while beaming that big ole smile, saying, "That's my boys!"
Bought a decadent chocolate cake and vanilla bean ice cream to celebrate the election victories, sharing it with sweet dear family tonight. Good thing we had something else to celebrate, considering the pitiful display our Texas Rangers put on tonight at home against the Rays.
So, in the midst of what started out as a sad day, we rejoiced and celebrated a 3rd and 4th graders' victories in student elections. Glad that they are my sons, feeling fortunate to be their mother, and anticipating a future filled with hope and love.