September 2, 2009

Gentle Reminders

I'm all about little signs and reminders from God when we get off track as mortal humans. I'd rather believe in that, than in mere coincidence, because unexplainable magical moments are way more fun than scientifically explicable ones. I mean, I get how you can apply some physics -related properties to lightning (or chemistry, or whatever lightning is), but I much prefer to attribute random light in the sky to some angry divine being trying to get his point across to all of us screwing around down here.

I'm not religious, let's just get that out of the way. It's not about that. I just believe that we are sent messages once in awhile, messages that remind us to be better.

Like tonight, when I got home from the baseball game, I got a message. If God were human, he would have just left a message on my voicemail himself, and all he would have said was, "You suck." But he's not, so instead, I had a call from a former student. A teenager. (Rewind: Teenagers are evil.)

I don't even need to go into my history with this student, Ashley, only to say that she came into my life when she was in the 8th grade and is still here, eight years later. She babysat my boys and then later went through 11th grade English with me. That year, she did her junior career project on wanting to become a dental hygienist and did an outstanding research job. I always hoped she'd get there, but I knew it would be a long shot financially. When I heard she'd graduated and moved in with her boyfriend right away, and still worked at Taco Time, my hopes kind of faded.

That message on my voicemail tonight was Ashley, out-of-breath with an audible grin on her face.

"Ms. McDonald, this is Ashley! I just wanted to call and tell you that I got accepted at Seattle Dental Academy! And..and..I got in! And I start in three weeks! They just called me like an hour ago and I'm just so excited I wanted you to know! I just wanted to share it with you! Anyway, that's all. Ok, bye!"

Is it even possible to take back what I said about teenagers?

I am so proud, and so fortunate, and so honored to have received that call. After my little hate-spew, I certainly didn't deserve it.

And I am so grateful for the message.


  1. Great story. I guess there are a few good ones...

  2. Aww, that's awesome! Do you think that means there's hope that someday I'll get a message from Connor that clown-college called and he'll know...*wipes a tear*...accepted??? :)

    Seriously, how cool that she called you!