"Dear Objoyful" the note from Caroljoy's Mother that was in Caroljoy's plain paper bag lunch said. Caroljoy had become used to her Mom's entertaining little notes that she put in Caroljoy's lunch. Her Mother wrote them each and every time that she packed her daughter's lunch.
Caroljoy had become good at ignoring the notes. After all, she was in high school now, practically an adult! On the other hand, she never threw them away. She would take them home and glue them into a special memory book. She would read them later when high school life was not pulsing around her.
Caroljoy felt terrible. Her eyes were swollen, her head was pounding, and she was convinced that she would simply NEVER step foot in this horrid school one more day. Caroljoy had been bullied from first grade to the grade she was in now, a junior in high school.
Over the years she had done her best to build armor around her heart. Sometimes it helped, but often it did not.
Lately she had to begin going in the two school entrances towards the back of the school. It took extra time. The alternative was much worse. Almost daily the "jocks," congregated on a bench right next to the front door.
The popular girls loved this. When they would pass, the boys would whistle at them. Or the group of jocks would call out numbers, ten being the most attractive, down to one being the least attractive.
Caroljoy DID NOT love this. These boys did NOT whistle at her, or call out a number referring to her beauty. They barked as she came by. A dog...they called her a dog...too homely to even rate a ONE on their scale.
She walked a mile to school. Many days she drug her feet not wanting to face another day of being bullied. On this morning she had arrived late. She took the chance that the annoying boys would NOT be seated on the bench. They were. On this day, she wasn't strong, she began to cry as she rushed past their taunts.
The tears continued into her day. She either hid behind a text book or did her best to swallow the tears before they could exit her eyes. It worked fairly well. Caroljoy had very few classes with friends, mainly because she had very few friends, and nobody in the other classes seemed to be aware of her existence or care that she was crying.
English was usually Caroljoy's favorite class. Spelling was very, very easy to her. It was probably because reading was one of her preferred escapes from the bullying. She also loved to write, short stories, and poems, trying always to stretch her skills.
It was NOT her favorite class this year. Three boys sat around her that concentrated on making her life a daily hell. Sporadically they would put a tack or three on her chair. Since it was sporadic she would forget to look and THEN! How they would laugh. She knew that a tack was a tiny thing. It did NOT FEEL tiny when it was piercing any portion of her anatomy.
They passed her notes with nasty details about their male parts, or worse, detailed drawings. They called her names, and then there was the day that one of them had a thrown a pen at her. It pierced her forehead, only two inches above her eye. The pen was stuck...she had to pull it out of her own flesh.
With all of that passing through her mind Caroljoy decided that today she needed to hear what her Mother had said. Caroljoy did not share the details of her bullying with her family. Her home and family were her safety zone her sanctuary. She felt that if she shared the negatives she faced it would follow her home.
On this day her Mother's note reminded her of the miraculous story of her birth and life. It reminded her how many times she should have died, but lived. It reminded her that she had a purpose, a value in the world.
When the first bell rang to alert students to go back to class, Caroljoy's eyes were dry. She felt renewed. She was also reminded that no matter what anyone did or said to her, she was still a person of worth. She was a miracle!