For a while now I have wondered if most people see the loss of Maya as old news. I’ve wondered if people pass judgement on me that I should be “over it” by now. I’ve wondered if people thought it strange that Hackie and I are having a celebration the weekend of her birthday. As we approached her birthday this Sunday, I grew increasingly nervous that people would forget or would remember but be afraid to say or do anything to show their support for fear of bringing it up. I was so wrong.
Today is my last day of work before the weekend. I took tomorrow off so that I could prepare for Maya’s garden dedication on Saturday. I came in like I would any other day, not thinking much of this weekend – just focused on getting to this afternoon when I can tackle my very long to-do list. I went in to see my administrator to ask her a question – she was wearing pink. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen her wear pink and I commented that I liked it! I came upstairs… another colleague was wearing pink, and then I saw another. I began to wonder if this was pure coincidence. I tried to convince myself that surely this was not for me. Then I stood for my morning duty, which happens to be at the end of the hall. I looked down – every teacher and staff member was wearing pink! My heart started to pound, and I started to shake. I built up the courage to ask the colleague I was standing next to: “Alright, is there a reason everyone is wearing pink?” She confirmed what I already knew. I fought hard to hold back the tears.
I found out that my closest colleague and friend, who knows that I wear pink every month on the 16th and that I’ve been wearing pink every day the month of June, had the idea, floated it out to the third floor teachers and received an overwhelming response. Apparently, the idea trickled down as some of the office staff, administrators, and guidance counselors are also wearing pink today. Every time I saw someone in pink, I smiled knowing that he or she was thinking of my precious baby girl when getting dressed.
I can’t quite put into words how I’m feeling. Today, I felt an overwhelming level of joy and comfort. Today, I felt more proud to be Maya’s mommy than I have in a long time. I’ve worked very hard this year to keep quiet and function as normally as possible at work. I have remembered Maya in my own silent ways while at school – wearing pink, a grasp of my necklace… but I have mainly kept to myself. Today, my colleagues showed me that Maya’s story is not old news. They remember her and continue to be supportive. I am so blessed.