Iraida Guadalupe – You Can Do All Things
Iraida Guadalupe was a mom returning to school to get her teaching degree. Little did she know that her journey to get there would come with pain, heartache, loss and a few lessons along the way. Her supermom story is proof that we are capable of more than we can ever imagine.
My journey was full of adversities, tears and great loss but I have found a deeper faith and determinations. I can do all things.
I clearly remember the day when I wanted to be a teacher. In middle school, I was involved in a student program and tutored children in a low-performing class. I was paired with a boy in a second grade that did not now how to read. I will never forget the first sentence he ever read, the cat in the hat.
The look on his face demonstrated how proud he was and so was I. As soon as my youngest turned seven, I knew it was finally time for me to go back to school. Courses were challenging, the hours were long but I can do all things.
A couple of years ago, my father went missing. He was found a few hours later in the hospital in a coma. This was the beginning of many nightmares. My mother also struggled to see my dad in this way but she was always the strongest person I’ve ever known. She was the one that molded my love for teaching, even when, in 2003, she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. And even though the circumstances seemed grim, she pressed on, determined to live. She molded that, despite illness, difficulties, or lack of education, we can do all things.
A few weeks later, we were told that my 10-year-old son needed open-heart surgery. Feeling helpless and defeated, my son, facing incredible circumstances, became another one of my heroes in that moment.
I remember being in the hospital room those days after surgery. The only distraction was my laptop and my schoolwork. I had to keep pressing through and show my son that we can do all things, that this would not defeat us. Then, seven months after my son’s surgery, my mother, my inspiration, my best friend, became gravely ill. We had to rush her to the hospital despite her unwillingness to go. A few days after my mother had been hospitalized, she went to a better place.
On her last day of being with me, I promised I would finish school and care for my children. I would need to remind myself that I can do all things.
After several months of grieving, my father started getting worse. He was heartbroken. Then, the inevitable happened. My dad also went to be to a better place. He passed away five months after my mother. It was the most challenging year of my life.
Still, I was so close to completing my degree. I took comfort in focusing on what lay ahead, a wonderful career in teaching. I needed this for my parents, for my husband, my kids, and, most importantly, for myself. I remember the encouraging words of my daughter and the look on that second-grader’s face when he read his first sentence years ago. I was reminded, I can do all things.
Though hardships and adversities were there, losing my mother and my father, struggling financially, I was reminded that I can do all things. As I look back, the pain of some of the obstacles are still there but they do not determine my future. There is nothing impossible for those who believe.
This fall, I will have my very own fifth grade class. I will be ready to teach them the same principles that my mother, my family, my friends and mentors have taught me all along, that we can do all things.
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