Emotions

Tuesday was a difficult day emotionally for me.  It was not just because it was 9/11, but also for other reasons.  As the history teacher at my school, it largely falls on me to answer questions kids have about the events of September 11, 2001.  My students range from my seventh graders who were either not born or just one year olds to my Seniors who were in first or second grade when the terrorist attacks happened.  They always want to know what I was doing when I heard the news, so I tell my story and tell some of the background and following events that they were too young to understand.  They are still too young and naive to understand why anyone could hold that much hatred for the United States, and even at my age, I find it difficult to imagine that amount of hatred.  I read my classes the poem that I posted on Tuesday, because I found it poignant.  I tend to read poems with a great deal of emotion, so there were some tears shed by the end by my students. So that got my day off to a sad beginning.

Because I was in graduate school even back then, one student asked me why I had not gotten my PhD yet.  I explained that though I had planned to have my dissertation largely finished by the end of the summer that Grandmama’s illness, death, and the emotions surrounding that had made it difficult to get much work done this summer. That combined with the fact that one of my friend’s father suddenly died over the weekend and having dinner with my aunt at Grandmama’s houseTuesday night, all combined to create a waive of emotions as I lay down to try to sleep. I ended up crying myself to sleep as the emotions of the day and the thoughts of never seeing Grandmama again hit me suddenly.  I was exhausted physically and emotionally.  I’ve been very busy at the school with some additional duties this year, and I am still recovering from my cold making for a tiring day.

As I fell asleep, I dreaded waking up the next morning with the emotionally draining depression that I expected. However, I guess the mind works in mysterious ways and often knows how to heal.  I had a dream that night, which is unusual that I remembered it so vividly the next day because I rarely remember my dreams.  I dreamed that a dear friend of mine, one who lives far away but that I care deeply for, was traveling to visit me. I remember vividly the details, though odd some of them were.  I remember that he flew into to Mobile instead of the closer airport in Montgomery, and that I had given him directions to meet me at an away basketball game for the school which for some very odd reason, I was playing in or maybe I was coaching or something (that part was too odd to be clear).  I dreamed that I took him to my family lake house and we had a wonderful time together.  I woke up in a much better mood just thinking about him and seeing him.  I hope he doesn’t mind that I shared this dream with you, but it gave me such a sense of joy that it greatly lifted me out of the funk I was in when I had gone to bed.  

It’s amazing what a good dream and happy thoughts can do for a person’s mental state.  It was a wonderful experience, even if it was only a dream.  Have you ever had a dream like that which turned your whole mood around?

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

4 responses to “Emotions

  • Coop

    this year was the first year I've shared my own memories of 9/11. Ususally I say something about the need not to forget the tragedy. The talking heads are saying that our collective memory is starting to fade. I kind of believe that; especially since the "Today" show cared more about the Karcrashians. Personally, I agree with your breakdown of your students. Those of us who were old enough to be truly aware to understand what happened and what we lived through will remember it most. For instance, I remember taking a break from 5th grade math to watch Clinton being inaugurated in 1992. But I don't remember much of his presidency before the impeachment. Emotions are a funny thing. I never shed many tears at my grandparents passing. I had some understanding that people grow old and pass away. ("No use crying because what can I do about it") In 2010, I lost two people close to me who were both under 50. Now that tears me up.

  • silvereagle

    Yes! and on more than once. No specifics, but I do recall some, as well as some unexpected call or prank which lifted me up from the doldrums I was in.And, in addition, remember, if we have beautiful sunshine each day, we fail to appreciate it — so some rain clouds make us want the sunshine again and we will appreciate it then. You,and all of us, have need for the rain in order to jolt us back into appreciation of what is around.I know you want to complete the PhD ordeal and you will when the time is right.

  • gaygroom

    It's funny how we can often give ourselves what we need – like a dream – when we most need it.

  • fan of casey

    Joe: OMG! I was in your dream! Did we have southern fried chicken?

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