At the beginning of the year Elly had to take items and pictures that were about her to school. Her turn to share these things was last week. As we were waiting to pick up Mady from school, I saw the bag of items in her backpack. We went through them one by one and she told me what she said about them and what her friends thought about them. Of course there was a picture of Abby included. When we got to it I continued the same as I had the others. Here is how our conversation went...
I told my friends that that is my sister Abby, but she died a long time ago in a car crash.
It was not that long ago but you were still in my tummy, almost ready to come out.
Oh. (long pause) Did Mady get died too?
No. Mady is still here with us.
Oh. Why did Abby get died?
She was hurt really bad and the doctors could not fix her.
Oh. Why did you want to have a car crash?
Mommy did not want to have a car crash. It was an accident.
Later in the evening when I was taking her into dance, I pointed out the small wooden cross on the roadside to her, telling her that was where the accident happened.
What is the cross for?
Just so people will remember.
Remember you had a car crash?
No. To remember Abby.
I know to a five year old, five years is a long time, but the tears still flow like it isn't.
I see Abby's classmates at school every day. Fourth graders. I just can't believe that is how big my little girl would be. One day it was the mere comment that fourth grade had a big class that brought tears to my eyes with the thought that they are missing one.