Today I had a visitor. She popped her shiny little head in the door and lit up the room. She has always had a joyful glow about her but today it kind of took my breath away. Today was Friday. I had last seen this sweet girl about a week and a half ago when I stopped by her mamma's wake to tell her how very sorry I was for her loss. Today she asked her dad to visit with me. There are no doubt a zillion other things that this man has on his list of things to do. Instead, he took his daughter out to get a "coffee" while they waited for me to get out of school.
We chatted about the classroom and she told me all about school and complained about the size of the lockers. (They are so ridiculously narrow.) I asked her how gymnastics was going and she told me that she had been on the trampoline working on her back tuck. I asked about her family and how everyone was doing. She actually didn't tell me much about how she was doing but she did say that all her brother has been doing is playing video games. We talked briefly about how everyone copes with a broken heart a bit differently. I asked, without pushing too much, how she was coping. She said she plays outside and spends time playing with friends. After chatting about Harry Potter and magic wands, I packed up my things and we walked downstairs together. Her dad had been waiting in the office.
I hadn't known her dad all that well but I have been told that he is every bit as amazing as his beautiful wife was. I saw a small glimpse of that today. Even though we had been upstairs chatting and he had been waiting, he didn't seem one once rushed or impatient. It is so very clear that he is doing his best to love up his kids and keep their lives on track.
After father and daughter left, our school secretary revealed that she had talked to the dad a little. He admitted that they are in "survival mode." Of course they are. I'm quite sure that every day must seem like a painful challenge. Because the mom was so radiant it must be all the more difficult because her light is no longer there. It sort of is though. It was there in her daughter's smile the minute she popped her head in the room. It was there in the way that the dad explained that he is wrapped around his daughter's little finger. I know they must all still be in shock. I'm not even sure they are in survival mode yet. But there is still so much love in this family. I just know they'll find their way.
Before we left the classroom today, I jotted my email address down for this little darling, just in case she ever wanted to talk or keep in touch. I'm just about ready to call it a night. I've already received three emails from my little friend. They are silly! She barely says anything aside from, "Hi!" but I write her back each time. She is just the kind of kid you want to be there for. Her mom was amazing. She is too. There is no doubt about it, her visit was the highlight of my week.