The bells rang twice, letting Jules know time was almost up. She had gotten up late and was running behind schedule. She taught classes at the local college. She had been employed there for five years and had never received a warning for anything.
Last night was different though. Her father had been admitted to a nursing home in the next town over. Jules had spent too long of time there. It ripped her heart apart seeing him laying in that bed.
Nurses and aides came and went, checking on his vitals and making sure he was going to be comfortable for the night. This was his first night. Jules wasn’t sure if he knew where he was.
He had Dementia and sometimes seemed to float in and out of reality. As she stood there watching the movement in the room, she couldn’t help but wonder what mom would be saying about all this.
Mom had been her best friend, but cancer took her away last year and dad’s slow moving dementia sped up. He missed his wife of over 50 years and didn’t want to live much anymore. Jules and her siblings decided that dad would get better care if he was moved into a facility with 24 hour care.
She stayed as long as she could afford and kissed her dad on the cheek telling him she would return soon. His eyes told her that he recognized her, but he didn’t understand why he was laying in this strange bed.
When Jules laid down for the night, her mind wouldn’t stay off her dad. This in turn made her sleep in late and as she entered her classroom door, the final buzzer sounded. She took a deep breath, and placed a big smile on her face as she said good morning to her students.
The class she taught was art. She hadn’t done too much on preparing for today’s lesson, so she did an impromptu. She asked the students to think of a time in their lives when a change that wasn’t wanted had happened. She asked them to draw out their feelings on their paper and hand them in to her when finished. If they finished early, they could go ahead and leave early.
She half-expected the students to hurry through in order to leave, but most of them stayed around three-fourths of the class. As she looked out over faces, she could tell some were serious about what they were drawing. One by one, they each turned their project in and as the room became quiet, she looked through them. One stood out to her, and she wondered if this student had somehow read her mind.
There was a separate piece of paper attached to her drawing. She explained how her favorite person in the whole wide world had been sick. She wrote about visiting her grandma and how grandma didn’t know who she was anymore.
Jules looked at the drawing and her heart sped up a little and a tear was shed, as she connected to the art work.