Eleven years ago today my little friend Kerry went to Heaven. This five-year-old taught me much about life, and love, and facing reality, and acceptance, and Faith.
I didn't have a long history with Kerry, she was in my life for just four short months, but in that time a bond beyond death was formed.
I've posted previously about the time that was gifted to me with Kerry and I don't have much to add to that post because I didn't have a lot of contact with Kerry before our time spent together in the Kindergarten classroom, other than the few times I saw her out in the schoolyard as her Mom dropped her other children off for school. And on those rare occasions I avoided Kerry and her Mom. I would see Kerry toddling around the schoolyard with her little bald head, and her many scars, and I would look the other way. And I went about the rest of my day pretending that a two-year-old can't get cancer.
I remember the Spring day that Debbie, the teacher I worked with, told me that Kerry would be a student in our classroom the following September, and I remember her asking, "Eileen, how are we going to do this?"
I knew she wasn't asking about how we were going to be able to devote so much time to one little girl with special needs when we had so many other little ones in the classroom. She was asking how were we going to survive emotionally? And how were we going to help the other children in the class understand what was happening? Debbie asked me this with tears in her eyes, and I knew there was no better classroom for Kerry and the other students to be in than in her Kindergarten class, and I told her so.
I think of Kerry often, and especially so now with my grandson Jayden in Kindergaten, in the very same school. I see him strong, and healthy, and I compare him to Kerry's fragile state. I see him learning and planning his next escapade, and I compare him to the memory of Kerry sleeping most of the time in the back of the classroom, too weak to do her lessons, too frail to play. I think of the future for Jayden and the happy times in store for him, and I compare that to Kerry's Mom making plans for Kerry's funeral.
One day last week Jayden was having a very hard time about going to school, and on our walk there he asked me to say a prayer with him, I did, and he went into school quietly, definitely not happy but without any tears. At the end of the day I asked him if he had a good day and he said, "Yeah, I knew I would. Do you know how I knew it was going to be a good day?" I asked if it was because we prayed, and he said, "Yes, and when I got to the classroom I said an extra prayer to your friend in Heaven." I asked him what friend, and he said, "You know, your little Kindergarten friend that is in Heaven now."
I'm glad Jayden thought of Kerry, and I do believe she looks out for him.
Thank you, Kerry.
You can read my previous post about Kerry 'Brief Encounters' HERE if you are interested.
1 week ago