October 14, 2013


On Friday I attended the memorial service for the young mother from SB's school who had passed away suddenly. I did not know her. Her daughter had only joined SB's class days before her death. But I wanted to show my support for the family.

SB is very fond of the younger daughter. From the first day she started at the school, SB has been talking about her new friend. There were other moms from the class who would be attending. Some knew the deceased because her older daughter attended the school. Others, like me, simply wanted to be supportive.

I didn't expect to become emotional over someone I did not have a relationship with. But when I opened the program for the service and saw she was five years younger than me, it rocked me to my core.

Then I saw her two little girls...

They were wearing matching dresses. Black with white polka dots, and a white flower over the heart. The older sister, seven, looked serious. Somber. The younger one, SB's classmate, was wide-eyed. She looked around at all the people there and clutched a teddy bear to her chest.

And I lost it.

As the service began and the pastor addressed the girls directly, I wept. Tears streamed down my face and my body heaved. I could not control my emotions. I thought of SB, and what it would be like for her if she were sitting in the front pew of that sanctuary.

I thought about those two young girls, now motherless. And how they are not even capable of truly grasping the gravity of that. The adults did grasp it, and there was not a dry eye to be found.

After the service there was a reception. I introduced myself to the girls' grandmother, who will now be responsible for raising them. I made sure she had my number and knew she could call me for anything.

Then I searched the room for SB's classmate. She was sitting at a table, coloring a drawing of Cinderella. I went over and knelt beside her:

"Hi," I said. "I'm SB's Mommy."

She looked up from her drawing. "SB is my friend."

"I know," I replied. "She has told me all about you. She is so happy you have joined her class. She really enjoys being your friend. I wanted to have the opportunity to meet you."

"SB is sad because she didn't get the T," she told me. "I am going to draw her a picture to help her feel better."

I had no idea what she was talking about. But I smiled and said, "You are a good friend. I'm glad SB met you. I hope I see you again very soon."

I would learn the story from SB that afternoon. Her classmates take turns bringing home a letter bucket from school. They are to fill it with items that begin with the letter they are working on in class. Lately, that had been the letter "T," but most of her classmates had already had the bucket.

SB was concerned she would not be able to find something unique to share. We had brainstormed together and come up with a great list of "T" items to take that no one else had brought in yet.

She received the bucket on Friday, but was informed the class is moving on to the letter "A" this week. Apparently, she was so upset she cried.

And the little girl who just lost her mommy wanted to help my daughter feel better. While I never knew the woman, I realize what a wonderful mother she must have been. And how her legacy will live on.

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