When we moved here almost 2 years ago we didn’t know very many people. She was enrolled in a summer day camp program but didn’t specifically make any friends. When she started in her new school she came home saying she made a friend! I was bursting with joy. The road for my daughter had been bumpy the last few years and it was great that school started on a high note.
When I met this little girl I was surprised my daughter hadn’t mentioned she was in a wheelchair. But it was JUST LIKE her to look past something as silly as this, and focus on the person sitting in the chair. That is one of my daughter’s special talents. Every day I would hear more funny stories about the two kids pal-ing around.
But just as suddenly as the friendship started—it ended. My daughter’s friend was born with MD (muscular dystrophy). It can affect arms and leg muscles, and it can also affect heart and lungs. This little girl passed away one weekend quite suddenly.
Having to break this news to my little girl was devastating. The following events (wake, funeral, school assemblies) were almost too much for her to bear. She did a pretty good job at trying to forget it ever happened. Until she would see another child in a wheelchair, or until another group would have a memorial for her, or something planted in her name. The community outpouring of love for this girl was beautiful.
This week was the anniversary of her birthday and the school was going to ask kids to wear her favorite color and create a poem to be read during the school announcements. My daughter said she wanted to skip school that day. I didn’t blame her. But I also told her I would think about it.
Over the course of the week, I had her talk to her teacher, her psychologist, and me. Her school was so supportive about my daughter’s feelings they offered a variety of ways to help her through the school day. In the end she spent much of her morning with the Kindergarten teacher, helping with the little kids. This teacher was also very close to the family and was in need of support. The two of them helped each other that morning. Later on I got a wonderful phone call from that teacher, telling me how great it was to have my daughter in class due to her own sorrow.
As her mother my knee-jerk reaction to my children’s pain is to try to do everything to get rid of it. I have to fix them, to make them happy again. But I do them a disservice when I intrude sometimes. What a beautiful teaching moment this was for my daughter. I wasn’t suppose to have the answers for her. It was God’s plan to have her learn this lesson from another. Therefore 2 lives were made better.
In loving memory of ♥