The playground was scattered with children. A child is swinging and from a simple glance appears to be enjoying her time. The child is crying. “I miss my mommy and daddy” the child states.
A few moments later I notice her again. She is trying hard to compose herself . As I approach, I ask, “Susan would you like to go get a drink of water? Water helps me when I am upset.”
“No thank you Miss Cambridge .” replied Susan gasping with tears.
Trying to convince her, “You know I am really thirsty, please join me while I get a drink.”
“No thank you, I got one just before I came outside, do you know why I am crying?” she asks, as if she wanted me to ask her first. “I know” spoken through her sniffles.
Let’s go over here” I said, trying to distract her.
As she reached up, I felt her small fragile hand. It was delicate and seemed to melt into mine. I think she felt my love and trusted me.
She turned to me, “Most people think I am sad because I miss my mommy and daddy, but my grandmother died. I loved her so much and I miss her”
As I look at her I could see she was trembling, her heart was visibly broken. Sitting down on the play scape; I reached and brought her next to me. Susan is petite; she has blonde hair, the color of translucent sand. Her eyes are crystal blue. Today they are filled with tears.
“I miss her, I miss her so much. My other grandmother died too, she is my great grandmother.” Susan cries.
I wiped her tears. “Susan do you want to tell me about her?”
A bright smile lit up her face. “Well, you see. She is my mom’s grandmother making her my great grandmother.” Her expression changed …” but now she is gone, everybody thinks I am sad because I miss my mommy and daddy. I do miss them but I am sad for my grandmother!” she stated. She pointed out in a tone that made you realize that not only was she sad and heartbroken but she was angry and irritated with the adults in her life.
“I know. Susan it is ok to feel this way,” I reassured her. “You are sad. You have lost someone very important in your life.”
She stared into my eyes, watching my every move. “It hurts,” I continued. “You must remember she will always be with you. In your memories and in your heart.” Her lip quivered, tears dropped off her young cheeks like raindrops.
“I loved her.”
Susan didn’t seem to even notice the laughter and liveliness of the other children around her. “But Oma was so special to me” she continued.
“Oma?” I was surprised, “Was her name Oma?”
Susan found a rebound in her energy “Oma… Oma” she repeated
“What did you call your grandmother?” I asked.
“I called her grandmother” she said in a sweet loving voice. “But her name was Oma” she added.
I felt my emotions grow as I remembered my own grandmother whom I had just lost at a tender age of 93 years old. Her name was also Oma.
“Susan, my grandmother’s name was Oma.” “It was?” she asked with such child like wonder. “Yes, and I miss her so much.” I felt myself start tear up. “It is so hard to lose our grandmothers. There will never be anyone in our lives that fill that role. But I always know when she is thinking about me because very special things happen.” “Special things?” asked Susan. “Yes, of course” I assured her.
“Both our grandmothers name is Oma. Do you know what I think Susan?” “What?” she asked “I think they are watching over us right now” Susan’s expression changed, “do you really think so?” I felt the warmth and love I remember so fondly from my grandmother. “Yes, I do. I really do Susan.”