It was the beginning of December.
My heart was pretty heavy with grief, sad for my little family.
Truly, I was just trying to make it to Christmas break.
And then the packages started.
Each wrapped in brown paper and string, with the printed words attached.
I came to my office that first day, and found this one in a grocery bag, hanging off the door handle to my office:
It was cute.
It was thoughtful.
It made me totally curious.
And it continued.
For 12 days...
Day two was equally clever...
Day four I was in disbelief that this was really happening...
Day five I found this in my purse after a Christmas party with our student leaders.
I still don't know how they managed to slip by me like that.
Day six (which came after a weekend, and therefore was joined with day seven's package) proved a happy day for Charlee, Bodhi and Jane!
Day seven, my curiosity was killing me.
My eyes were definitely open, trying to catch these clever gifters.
By day eight, I was in total amazement of whomever this was.
They were dedicated. And I was eating a lot of chocolate by this point.
Day nine was rather ironic.
I had given this CD to MCC the week before.
I was just purging, and slightly hesitated to donate Christmas music right before Christmas, but remember, my heart was heavy with how short life is and what really matters...so I was purging my material goods.
And then day nine came, and I got the same CD back.
I was curious if it might actually be the very same CD...
Day ten was a flashback.
When was the last time I had ever eaten Cracker Jacks?
Day eleven. I was dying of curiosity...
...while I enjoyed a hot cocoa.
And tried to spy out any suspicious behaviour in my students.
I was looking for clues.
And then day 12 came.
And I didn't get to find out who it was.
Marlene (the Student Development Associate) hinted that she knew.
And then swore she wouldn't tell me...
I believe her exact words were,
"if you ask me in February, I'll tell you in March".
And so it's April. And I still don't know who blessed me in this way, but every time I think of it, I get a little teary. Steve (my coworker) keeps bugging me to ask Marlene, because he's just as curious.
I know it's kind of anticlimactic, all this build up without the revelation of "whodunnit". And yet, while I'm so curious...I'm also hesitant to ask Marlene and find out who it was.
You know why?
I can think of many different students that may have blessed me in this way.
And I love that.
I don't have an automatic "oh, it's definitely this person"...which for me, speaks to the character and the love my students (plural) demonstrate.
It was the end of the semester. A time of final projects, and of exams, and of sheer tiredness. And yet these students were so committed to blessing me that they made sure, every day, there was a package waiting for me.
Exactly when I needed it the most.
In 4 days, my students will be done.
Many will graduate on Saturday, some will move on to other education or the work force, and others will simply leave for the summer to work and rest and get ready for next year.
And while I think we're all ready for a break from each other (cue roommate conflict), these brown paper packages wrapped in string remind me of the favourite thing about my job (even in the midst of discipline and drama)...and this is it:
I get to work with some pretty awesome people who love Jesus,
who try to follow Him,
and who are learning to rely on His grace when we fail;
and we're all in it together.