Eight years ago I was looking for a dog to join my life.
I had been looking but the right girl did not walk into my life until the exact right moment.
It was a Wednesday before Christmas vacation and I was in my 4th year of teaching middle school and my favorite student came in crying. I comforted her and asked what was wrong. Through sobs and sniffles I heard her utter " We have to get rid of Taffy because we're not home enough and she has accidents". Without trepidation or hesitation, I immediately said "I'll take her!!
That way you will know she's in a good home and you can still see her whenever you want"! My student called her mom and within 2 quick minutes, we had a deal. Her mom agreed to meet me with my new bundle of joy that same Saturday. I sat nervously shaking in the vacant school lot waiting for my new baby to arrive. I had never met her, pet her, or even seen a picture of her but I knew I was going to love her.
The second they opened their car door, Taffy sprinted into my car like that was her destination all along. It was a quick goodbye and I assured my student she would see her real soon.
Taffy and I started our life together and it was beautiful. I was instantly in love with her and she fit into my life so perfectly. Everything fell into place with Taffy by my side. Thick as thieves, buff's, lunch dates, long walks, parks, and vacations. We were inseparable.
We did visit my student a few times and had one really special visit 3 months later in March, right before our Spring Break. I had this strong, urge to drive home quick on my lunch break and get Taffy so my student could spend the afternoon with her before Spring Break.
I had never run home over lunch before but on this day it was like strong current pulling me home. I got my girl and was headed back to make my students day! When my student saw Taffy wagging her tail, her heart melted. They spent the remainder of the day cuddling, playing, and I watched her take Taffy for a long walk through the field. They looked so happy and free skipping into the blue clouds and
butterflies. I couldn't help but feel full of love, peace, and admiration on this most perfect spring day.
The school bell rang loudly and we waved goodbye to our students. What a great way to start Spring break, I thought.
Remember that magnetic pull of gravity I spoke of earlier? The very next day I get a call from my students mom. The kind of call that leaves your heart in your feet, your body numb, and helpless. Her mom told me that they had been hit by a car. All four of them, my student, her 16 year old sister, and their mom and grandma. Grandma was gone at the scene and my beloved student was barely clinging to life. Her older sister had some broken limbs and their mom was banged up but was going to recover from the physical pain. My sweet student, so much internal bleeding and her brain activity was null. The soft yet raspy voice on the other end of the phone explained that they were waiting on me to visit her before they made the grueling decision to unplug her life support. Unlike her mom's physical pain, her emotional pain is not reparable, not when you loose your child. As quick as it happened, just like that, in a blink- my student was gone.
So final, so abrupt, so devastating,
I was devastated, lost, angry, confused, and in shock. I don't remember how I got to the hospital but I know I got there. I had time to hold her, hug her, talk to her, reminisce with her, be with her, and pray for her . Within a few beeps she was gone, just like that.
Although my story has a tragic end it also encompasses a great story of love, loyalty, compassion, friendship, and healing. My heart still aches when I think of my student and wonder what her life would be like now? I still cry about her, I still miss her, I still pray for her, and I will cherish every minute I spend with our Taffy. Taffy makes me feel close to my student everyday and I know she watches over & protects us.
Taffy and I know who our Guardian angel is and we love her very much.
I hope you feel the love I feel deep in the swells of my heart for my student and my Taffy girl.