Sunday, June 24, 2012

Standing Where You Can See Me

This week I have to go somewhere I don’t want to go. 
It is one of those places that I keep thinking if I don’t go then maybe reality will not slap me in the face like I am sure it is going to do. 

My ballet teacher, Mr. Peter, died a few weeks ago and this week I have to attend his memorial service.
I am having a hard time dealing with his death because I don’t really want to admit that he is gone. 
I am having a hard time dealing with this death because his life was so important to me. 
If you were ever part of a team or anything like that then you can understand the role this man played in my life. For years and years I saw him everyday, sometimes more than I saw my parents. And that sort of role in your life, makes an impact. Leaves a mark.
One of the unique things about Mr. Peter (and there were many) was that he was blind in one eye.  If you were not standing in the right spot then he couldn’t see you. Saying that I was always very aware of what side of him I was standing on would be an understatement.  I spent most of my adolescence trying to stand in the right spot, so that this man would see me. And see how hard I wanted to succeed.  
Sometimes I know I would get worked up trying to get his approval. 
I wanted to make him proud of me.
I wanted his praise.
“ Can you see me? Am I standing where you can see me?”- I asked him this question nonverbally day after day.
And the funny thing is that as I look back on it now, I know he was answering me. Just not in the way I thought I wanted him to.
I wasn’t standing where he could see me when I pitched a fit because I didn’t get a step down right. Or when I didn’t get the part I wanted. Or when I was frustrated. Or petty. Or just playing around.
But when my dad lost his job and we couldn’t pay for ballet lessons anymore, he let my mom sew costumes and didn’t charge me tuition.
What he was really whispering to me was:
“Julia, I can see you. You are standing where I can see you.”
And when I had to have brain surgery. And I was so weak afterwards, I thought I wouldn’t dance again. He let me come take a lower level class even thought I couldn’t get through the barre exercises.
What he was really saying to me was:
“Julia I can see you. You are standing where I can see you.” 
And when I got too frustrated to take that baby class anymore. And he let me take a older class even though I wasn’t ready.
What he was really shouting to me was:
“Julia I can see you. You are standing where I can see you.”
I hope that you have someone like that in your life. A person that  never ceases to see what your heart really needs.  A person, who even with only one good eye, is never blind to what was really important. 
Oh Mr. Peter, I will miss you! I can’t even begin to be able to understand why you had to die. But I know why you lived. And I am thankful for every minute of your life that I got to be a part of. 


Mollyanne said...

This is beautiful, Julia. I'm so sorry for your loss. Love you!

Lauren & Eddie said...

Beautiful words, Julia! I saw an article about him on Facebook the other day from Katy and wondered if he'd taught both of you. Praying for you. I'm so sorry.

Julia said...

Thank you Mollyanne and Lauren!