Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Mrs. Moore- and making it to Spring Break

assalamu alaikum,

Ohmagosh. Y'all, finally arriving at Spring Break was like making it to the end of a long hard workout that you didn't want to do in the first place. That was TOUGH! And I RESENTED it! We went from January to April with no breaks. I'm incensed that even though we're an Islamic school, we have to follow our local public district- and they based their break on the Christian calendar. That just meant that we went two months without a break, is all. That, and our break ends with Easter, so all the kids will be bombarded on their week off with pastel bunnies and candy and egg baskets and I don't know what all. I'm not mad at that; just that I'd be a lot more okay if, at Eid, we couldn't escape the 'Eid Mubaraks' and the 'takabarAllah'greetings, if sarees,and silks, and nice suits went on sale, if 'Eid Candy' were even a prospect.

Eh, part of this is that I'm grumpy because this break isn't long enough. I'm trying to figure out how to make it to see Umm Layth. It's been two months without a break, and my disposition suffered.

Two months is not that long. Unless you don't love your job. Then it's sucky.

Lots to think about. I'm currently typing with my Mac on my lap (I love Apple computers. I wish I had that huge Mac Book, but on the other hand, I love love love my baby and I'm happy I have it) while sitting in my bed, my legs propped on a pile of laundry. Who does this to themselves? I have a huge pile of laundry to do. ANd I really don't want to. Which is why I'm writing this post, to anticipate it being done and being able to do other stuff with my spring break.

I was just looking over my archives, and whoa, have I evolved in the past five years. I remember that chick who used to write here when she lived in portareeco, and she was fun, but having lived through what I did... I'm me. Won't be doing that again.

It surprises me how much more my spirituality comes out in my writing; Islam is definitely a fixed part of my identity. I realized it when I was trying to control my reactions earlier.
My favorite teacher, Mrs. A. Jeanne Moore, died on Sunday. I loved her dearly; it's a testament to her class that my Brotha from Anotha Motha (I'm officially giving im the blogname BAM) over there <--- agrees. (He's a grump-wump about teachers in general. Or he was when we were in high school.) She'd spell out the word 'Conservopolis' and made us learn it- this city's name is NOT a joke, even the national media misspells it occasionally. She taught me to write cursive. She taught me to love my self and enjoyed my wacky writing.

That last was most important for me, especially since Mrs. Moore was my first Black teacher. Now, Conservopolis has a decent educational system (even now one of our high schools is being featured on cable TV), and the program BAM and I began in was spectacular. We had two teachers per day from KG through 4th grade; but it wasn't until 2nd grade that we had Mrs. Moore. What she taught us counted; how she saw us stuck in a lot of ways.

(YES, I remember that this is a story about my spiritual identity creeping up on me everywhere. I'm getting there.)

Now, most of you know that I was raised as a Christian, where my mother was very spiritual and my father noncommittal as far as I could see (nowadays he goes to church regularly etc.), so we'd go to church with Mama. Mrs. Moore also attended the same church as my family. I don't know why I didn't realize this until after 2nd grade, but she did. So she was there to witness my pre-teen bossiness and our choir concerts. She was a Delta, and was so super proud when I did my debut with the Deltas. Yes, I'm a Delta Debutante! She sponsored me and came to my ball.

All that was before Islam.

Well, so yesterday my mother told me she died, and I just started sobbing. And the first thing I said? 'Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un' (From God we come, and to God we return). As I contemplated her life today, I thanked God for sending her to be my teacher- she retired just 3 years after I took her class. Today at the time of her funeral, I prayed for her- not the old prayers of my youth; no, what instinctively came to my mind were the pleas of the 'righteous legacy'. "Oh Lord! Expand her grave for her. Let her benefit from our good deeds. Oh Lord! Make the grave light for her, and let righteous Angels and sweet scents be her company. Oh Lord! Accept her good deeds, and make them outweigh the sins by seven times.". And then I added, to myself, 'She was not a Muslim, but she believed in You'.

Then I went back up to the school. The actual elementary school where we all took Mrs. Moore's class is gone, now; they tore it down and rebuilt it. When I walked in, who should I see but Mrs. C, the secretary from my days there! So I got the chance to let her know about Mrs. Moore.

Y'all, I spent a good 20 minutes reminiscing with Mrs. C., since her son Jason was in my class. But I had to stop myself, because every other word out of my mouth would've been 'MashaAllah!' or , 'SubHanAllah!'
Like when she told me that she has a 9 year old grandson, or when she talked about how my old girlfriends now have kids. I really took notice of how often I had to change my expressions around. And I talk a lot. So for me to incorporate dhikr like that means I've made a good deal of addition to my vocabulary. ... MashaAllah.

Hmph. While I was in the office, another lady was there who remembered Mrs. Moore and happened to know of the church since her cousins (who I also grew up with, small world) go there. First thing she said, was, "Oh, you Muslim?" Second question was, "Oh, some man turned you into that?"


The irony is, I WISH I'd married some man who insisted that his be an Islamic house.

As much as I have incorporated my praise and worship into my life, it seems I will always be an ambassador for Islam, so I better get a little more in.

I don't have much more to say... or rather, I can't seem to type it over the din of the clothes-pile under my feet. InshaAllah I'll be back before the end of the week.


1 comment:

  1. I have to check my colloquial speech too, when speaking to non-Muslims, But I think we have to translate it into English and keep saying it to them.
    Good going sis. :)