I found out two nights ago that my dad has mesothelioma and has nine to fifteen months to live. I cried and cried that night and had a hard time sleeping. The next morning (yesterday) I was numb. But I decided to go in to work. I figured that my kids would make me smile and take my mind off of it - even if just for a little bit. I was okay first thing in the morning and was getting ready for my kids to arrive when one of my Aides reminded me about the upcoming 911 ceremony that would take place out in front of the school by the flag pole. She said that the school secretary always sings "Amazing Grace" and it was a real tear-jerker. I was scared to death to attend. I started to tell her and then I broke down. I knew that if I heard "Amazing Grace" that I would totally lose it in front of all of my brand new co-workers. When I was finally able to tell her, she was very understanding and helpful and offered to take my kids out to the ceremony for me. I sent an email to the principal and apologized for not attending but told him my dad's prognosis. He sent me a reply and told me that the school family would do whatever they could to help me and to just let them know. The principal, my aides, and one other new teacher are the only school folks that know. My kids walked in and saw that I had been crying. They were concerned but quietly went to breakfast with the Aides while I hid in my room to calm down. The rest of the day was okay. They did take my mind off of things and I was able to keep it together. Today was better. I didn't cry at all. But I still feel so sad and desolate. Dad's prognosis puts his passing at next summer. He starts chemo on Monday and his health will get worse. It's so hard. I was having a blast at school with my kids and now all I can think about is my dad. I guess I wondered if any of you experienced teachers had ever had to deal with any devistating personal issues and how you juggled work with your personal life. I know I'll have to take it one day at a time. But if you have any other advice, I'd appreciate it.