Today I'm speaking at D's fifth grade class about my experiences in Rwanda. They are studying central Africa. I actually did this for E's class when she was in 5th grade and repeated it for A and M a few years ago. Talking about genocide in an age appropriate way is difficult. It's something beyond their realm of understanding. In order to help with this, my friend Serge wrote a letter that I'll read, telling his story and what happened to his family.
Since I've done it before, I think I'll be able to handle it okay. The only tough part is going to be talking about Serge's mom, Florence. She died two days ago. Serge is on his way to Kigali with his little sister as I type this. I don't think I can tell his story without adding this footnote.
I hope I don't cry.
Today, I also get to write the eulogy for my high school soccer coach. He died week before last in Texas. His ex-wife asked me yesterday to speak at the service. I really couldn't say no.
Here's the catch. The memorial service is at the same church where we had Jeanne and Mike's funeral. I've been back to the church for E's confirmation and graduation. Tomorrow I'll have to give a eulogy standing the exact same pulpit that I gave the eulogy for my sister. I'm not worried about writing out my thoughts and reading them. I'm worried I'm going to freeze and get thrown back to one of the worst days of my life.
I feel heavy with grief today.
I hope I have the strength to carry on.