When Life is Hard

Two weeks ago, an extended family member was murdered.

How’s that for surreal?

we knew that she had an unhappy home life but we had no idea that it was as bad as it was. That discovery has forced us to clothe ourselves in unspeakable sadness. My heart breaks for L. and all that she has silently endured all of these years.

I have always tried to instill truth. beauty and goodness into my children’s education. My reasons for doing this was so that they would become wise, virtuous people. You are what you behold and all of that. But this weekend at L’s funeral, I discovered another reason to immerse yourselves in the transcendentals.

Even though parts of L’s life was unhappy, dark and chaotic, she found truth, beauty and goodness to offset the negative. L. was the financial director for the Sask Party, the political party that is in government here in Saskatechewan. Truth, for her, was found in numbers. Numbers were stable. They always told the truth. 1+1 is always 2. Numbers give order. Beauty was found in her creativity. She was always making things for friends and family members through cross-stitching, crocheting, etc. Goodness came in the form of her pets, her cats and dogs and in her friends. She had many of them in her work place.

I believe that L’s form of truth, beauty and goodness is what enabled her to live through each of her days. The good parts of her life helped her get through the bad parts. They gave her strength, a foundation for when life was shaky.

I now believe there is another reason to cultivate truth, beauty and goodness into a child’s life; it is to give them a foundation of hope and strength when life gets hard. And we all know that at some part life will get hard.

This past school year has not been a very good one for our family. I have tried to figure out what went wrong and I have a few reasons but the main one is that I haven’t clothed my children in the true, the beautiful and the good this year. I have been more concerned about getting all of the required credits for a transcript, getting ready for the SATs, making sure that they could write a half-decent paper. There was no time for wonder this past year and our hearts have shown that.

L. has shown me that I need to start making time for the beautiful and the true in life so that my children will have little pockets of hope to fall back on when life gets hard. So with that in mind, I have decided that for the month of September, we are going to focus on Pachelbel’s Canon, read the poetry of John Donne, gaze on the paintings and sculptures of Degas. The two younger ones are going to read Robinson Crusoe with me and I am going to read Of Mice and Men with Emma (I know this book is depressing but Emma requested it and I was over the moon that she actually asked to read a certain book that I was not going to refuse, so John Steinbeck it is.) We are going to go on walks, long walks along the creek and we are going to spend time drawing and creating. Yes, we will also be doing algebra, physics and diagramming sentences but they will be cushioned by other things that will bring hope and light to our souls.

We will be doing all of this in the remembrance of L.

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