Her precious laugh still rings in my ears.
I remember one day. I had a meeting at the admin building after work and came back to school to pick her up from after school care. I walked in the front doors and smiled at the worker letting parents in. We were in the beginning stages of exchanging pleasantries when I hear "ALYSSSSSSSSSSA!" and turn to watch her run the last ten yards or so to fling herself into my arms. I swung her around and we laughed at the joy of being reunited at the end of our days. It was a day I will always remember. Always. The overflowing joy that she brought to my life. The heart-smiles I was blessed to experience because she was there.
Her picture is in several places around my home. Throwing leaves up in the air when we went to Lake Ouachita last November. Her school Kindergarten picture. A precious, sweet one a fellow teacher made for me in secret on the playground at school when we knew she was leaving. Her hand-prints in red paint for last year's Valentine's Day. Her presence is every where. Kindergarten had their nursery rhyme parade recently. As these precious little ones walked in, I remember how hard she worked to practice Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and how proud she was to dress up in a pretty white dress with sparkles and put silver glitter in her hair. I roll my eyes and laugh with Sara because her daughter and J poured glitter on each other and all over my classroom the morning of the parade while Sara and I were in a parent conference next door in Sara's room.
She left last year about 9:00a on Valentine's Day. The transporter came to school to pick her up. We had all of her belongings in my car and loaded all the boxes and precious items into the transporter's car and she chattered with her brothers after giving me butterfly kisses and Eskimo noses. Then I waved, walked back into my classroom and away from my heart.
Valentine's Day is a day to love. A day to laugh. A day to remember the blessing the Lord has bestowed. This year, I remember her and my heart smiles through tears at the memories we made.