Saturday, October 15, 2016

Remembering Miss Langs

     You never forget your kindergarten teacher. And I will never forget my kids' kindergarten teacher, for they all had the same one, making Miss Blythe Langs a very special person to our family. We first met her in 2008 when Julia entered Briarwood Elementary School just down the street from our house. We loved our firstborn's experience with Miss Langs so much that we requested that Ella have her as well, and then Max. Because of this, she became a family friend, not just a teacher (though being "just a teacher" is an amazing thing in and of itself). She loved the kids in her class and cared that they received the best education possible. She did above and beyond things in her classroom, like bringing chicken and duck eggs in and keeping them in an incubator so the kids could learn about the process of chicks and ducklings hatching, resulting in the kids coming up with names like "Twitch" and "Banana" for the newborns. We were blessed to have her as the kids' kindergarten teacher.
     Even after all three kids moved up the ranks of elementary school and were no longer in her class, we'd make a point to still stop by and say hello to Miss Langs (she insisted Marty and I call her Blythe). We were connected to her more than any teacher at that school because of our history with her.
     Almost two years ago, Blythe messaged us on Facebook asking if she could call us. I had a sense it wasn't necessarily good news. It wasn't. Blythe told us she had cancer and asked us to pray because she didn't have a pastor. The news was heartbreaking, and even more so because she told us through tears. Of course we would pray. And pray we did. Every day that I walked Max and Ella to school, we prayed for our usual items and we prayed for Miss Langs, for healing, for peace, for her to know the love of God amidst this trial she was facing.
     She didn't return to teach the following school year but stayed in touch with her through her fight with cancer. Unfortunately she would say things like "I wish I had better news."
     Last Spring, Marty was able to have lunch with Blythe. She was dying, but she was living life, trying to connect with as many friends as possible and was headed to Hawaii in a few weeks. Yet, the most important thing she conveyed was she was at peace and was ready to be with Jesus. Though we prayed for healing, that peace she was experiencing was the biggest part of my request of God. Marty said it was an honor to be able to sit with her and observe this woman so brave and so ready to go if she had to die. Marty gave her a necklace and Blythe took this picture of her wearing it and sent it to us...

     She looked so pretty and healthy.
     Woke up this morning to "RIP's" on her Facebook page and my heart grew sad instantly. She died yesterday, October 14, on her birthday. 
     Miss Langs... Blythe... a kindergarten teacher is pivotal in a child's life, and a good kindergarten teacher is monumental. You were a great kindergarten teacher. You taught, loved, and cared for our three kids and we will be forever grateful to God for allowing our paths to cross on this earth. It was an honor to help you walk through the fight of your life and lift up prayers for you. You haven't been our kids' teacher for years now, but these last several months, you taught us how to live life and face death. Still teaching. Our hearts are breaking and rejoicing for you. We will never, ever forget you. We are remembering Miss Langs today... Blythe Langs.