Simple, really. Silver, a flip phone. No bells and whistles, simply designed to "gasp!" make calls and text. It sat in the white tupperware container for 9 days. No student claimed it, we all knew whose it was. She wasn't returning. And we didn't know if she ever would. As each day came.....and went.....it sat there amongst the other students' belongings during the day and alone all night.
Then winter break came and I took it to the office. Cradled it in my hand, knowing deep in my heart that it belonged to someone I would never see again. I handed it over and labeled it with her name--and swallowed as the reply came, "she moved, we got notice yesterday." It hurt, even though I knew it. It hurt because she didn't deserve that. She had already bottomed out--well she hadn't but her mother had. Where was there to go but up?
But there isn't always an up and sometimes at the bottom of that pit is someone with a shovel, digging an even deeper hole. And sometimes that shovel sits in the hands of a person responsible for other lives--lives that have no say. Lives that have yet to be lived and who must remain in limbo, waiting for a ladder instead of a shovel.
But all I had was a cell phone, and a disconnected one at that. So, if you, dear child, are the owner of that simple silver cell phone and you land somewhere you can use it, call me. Because I packed it full of love and hope and best wishes for you and I'd like to know that you received it.