This, I am realizing, is going to take a lot of thought. I want to do something different each day, and I feel like I am already out of ideas! So, day two, I went with one of the biggest American clichés ever... Bring your teacher an apple.
My friend Lexi faithfully overloads us with produce, so we had apples on hand. Since this project is to honor Adam's memory, I want to do it right. See, my brother wouldn't just bring his teacher an apple. He was the kind of guy to root for the underdog, and maybe even put a bully in a headlock so the underdog could gain the edge. No... Adam wouldn't bring his teacher an apple.
Adam would fill a bag with apples and he would give them to the most under-appreciated school employees in the district. So, that's sort of what we did.
I loaded the girls up with apples. One apple for the world's best bus driver, Mary Ann. An apple for each teacher. Apples for the secretaries. Apples for the lunch ladies. Apples for the aides. Even an apple for "the white lady that is really helpful." (As it turns out, this was a hall monitor with such white hair. Apple for her.)
The girls really enjoyed being a part of this, and I loved explaining to them that we were doing this to remind ourselves that being kind to others is one way to love and serve God, because that is what Jesus taught us to do. I was able to tell them about how sad I feel without Uncle Adam, but how happy my heart gets when I love and serve somebody else like Uncle Adam would. Like Jesus would.
It was hard to write that story last night, the story of when we lost Adam. I asked my sisters and my mom for their permission first, and part of me was secretly hoping that someone would forbid me from saying it out loud. But, after such a kind and compassionate outpouring - comments, texts and emails - I am really thankful.
I felt lifted up today, supported, and thankful that Adam's life, while short, still makes an impact. I realized that if we don't talk about the fact that he died, how can we talk about he fact that he lived!?
So day two: apples. It was pretty simple, but it reminded me that what I do is a lot less important than who I am. The apples are just a small thing for my kids to see me do, but I am really hoping that when I join my big brother and my Father in heaven... It will remind them less of what I did, and more of who I was trying to be.
And maybe, just maybe, they will pay Uncle Adam's apples forward in some way.
This is how my kids eat apples. Seeds, core... everything but the hat.