Angelina Didn't Come to School Today
When Mommy brought me to daycare on Monday, Miss Mary looked sad. I was putting a cookie in Angelina's cubby. Angelina and me trade cookies everyday. Mommy was giving Miss Mary a hug. They were crying. I never saw a grown-up cry before. It made me feel a little scared. Mommy came over to me to say goodbye. She was still crying. She squeezed me tighter than usual, and told me she loved me very much. I wondered why she was so sad, so I gave her a squeeze and a kiss.
At circle time, we all sang our Welcome Song. But Angelina wasn't there. Miss Mary and Miss Debbie looked sad. Angelina and me always pick to be line leader or caboose. But today, I was caboose and Bobby was line leader.
After snack, we took out centers; motor mat, wooden blocks, and dollhouse. Angelina and me always build block castles. But she still wasn't there, so I had to build with Joey and Bobby.
At lunch time, Angelina's cookie was still in her cubby. Other teachers kept coming in our room and hugging Miss Mary and Miss Debbie. They all had red eyes and noses. I wondered why they were so sad.
At nap time, Miss Mary didn't put Angelina's mat out next to mine. She gave us all really big hugs before we lay down, though. She even kissed me on top of my head and told me she loved me. She was sad, so I gave her a squeeze just like I gave my mom.
Mommy came and picked me up before I even woke up from nap. It was weird walking out with the lights off and while everybody was asleep. When Mommy snapped me in my car-seat, I told her that Miss Mary and Miss Debbie were sad all day. I told her that I gave them lots of squeezes though, to make them feel better. Mommy said she had something important to tell me. But then she didn't say anything.
She didn't say anything for a long time. Finally she said that there had been an accident. I told her that's ok. I have accidents sometimes, too. But Mommy said it wasn't that kind of accident. It was an accident in a car. Then she said that Angelina and her mom had been in the accident. I asked her when Angelina was coming back to school. Mommy said she wouldn't come back. I asked Mommy why, because I had to give her her cookie. Mommy said that Angelina had died, and that she was in heaven now. I asked Mommy how long she was going to be in heaven. Mommy said she would be there a really long time. She said she would be there forever. I asked Mommy if I could visit Angelina in heaven, but Mommy said that I wouldn't be going there for a long long time yet.
I was sad that it would be a long time before I could see Angelina again. But maybe she would come to school the next day, anyway.
On Tuesday, I took an extra cookie in to daycare. Mommy didn't know. When I went to put it in Angelina's cubby, the other cookie was still there.
When we were singing our Welcome Song, Suzie said "Angelina's not here today, because my mom says she's dead." Miss Debbie told her we weren't going to talk about that right now, and we started singing another song. It gave me a bad feeling in my tummy when Suzie said that, and I wanted to cry, but I didn't.
On Wednesday, my Mommy dressed all in black before she took me to daycare. She said she was going to a funeral for Angelina and her mom. We had a different teacher in my room. She was nice, and told us that Miss Mary and Miss Debbie would be back tomorrow. Angelina's cookies were still in her cubby, but I didn't bring another one in.
On Thursday, there were no cookies in Angelina's cubby when I came in. I ran to Miss Mary and asked her if Angelina had come to get her cookies. Miss Mary sat on the floor with me and said no. She told me that Angelina's Grand-mom had come to get Angelina's things from her cubby, and that she had taken the cookies. I asked her if she would give the cookies to Angelina. Miss Mary hugged me and told me that Angelina wouldn't have any more cookies. She asked me if my Mommy had told me about what happened. I said yes. Miss Mary gave me a hug and a kiss and told me that Angelina was not going to be coming back anymore. But she said that if I was confused, to ask my Mommy about it. Then she said it was ok to feel sad and that if I felt sad or mad, that I could sit with her for a while. That made me feel better, but I still had a funny feeling in my tummy.
On Friday, I wished that Angelina was there. It was a bad day, and everybody was grumpy. I didn't want to talk to anyone, and so I sat by myself. Miss Mary sat next to me, and asked me if I needed a hug. I said yes, and then I started to cry. Miss Mary held me for a long time. She gives good hugs.
Angelina didn't come back to school. I miss her. Sometimes, we talk about her in class. It makes me feel better when we talk about her, because she was funny and good at tag, and built the best block castles. She was my best friend. But I can play with Bobby, and Suzie, and Miss Mary and Miss Debbie give us all lots of hugs. And Mommy gives me more kisses every morning when I wake up and every night before I go to bed. And I give her the tightest squeezes every day.
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Michael, I'm reaching for a tissue. A well told, moving story. Makes me want to give those I love an extra tight hug. Blessings, Rita