Do you know I actually remember meeting you in Kindergarten? We were reading together in the hall when I volunteered one day. I thought to myself, "this little girl is so cute....and so quiet, what a sweet thing." I also remember in 2nd grade when Steph said to me, "Mommy, I've been playing with Bella a little bit, she's really fun. Can we have a playdate sometime?"
I loved your friendship with Steph. You had your circle of friends and she had her circle of friends. It just seemed that once in a blue moon whenever she needed a break from the circle you found each other. With that, a very sweet and special friendship took shape. Steph was never scared when she found out you had Leukemia. Honestly I wasn't either. I thought, It's ALL, totally curable. It'll be a long road, but there is a finish line. Because of my experience as a Child Life Specialist, I jumped in there. Spoke with your teacher to the class with confidence that there was a PLAN, that childhood cancer was different than adult cancers and we all should have faith that it will all be OK.
I hope you don't think I lied to your classmates.....at the time it felt like the right thing to say.
Sweet girl, I never saw this coming. Maybe I did, I just didn't want to believe it.... I was worried when you wouldn't go into remission. I felt if we could just get you a match, it go away. Stupid cancer.
Steph has had a hard time saying goodbye to you. After we talked for a long time about all the machines and tubes that you were hooked up to, she decided that she wanted to remember you like you looked when you had that last playdate before being admitted for transplant. She made a voice recording and sent to your mom. I hope you heard it and know how much she loved you.
I have been surprised by her grief. Not that I am surprised that she is grieving, but by how desperate she feels about you. Your circle of friends has each other to lean on, sharing stories about their time with you. Most of the time you and Steph played it was just the two of you. Her stories are only hers....and yours.
Bella, you made my drama queen, calm. You made my sassy redhead, kind. You made my, at times selfish child, selfless. All the things that make her drive me crazy, went away when you girls were together. You were a perfect friend and right there when she needed a quiet reminder how to be a good friend. I'm really going to miss you too.
Bella, you are free to fly with the Angels. I have so many Angel friends-too many. I've said goodbye to a lot kids over the years. I prayed to many of them to come to see you and help you. I find comfort knowing that my little friends are with you and that you aren't alone.
I just hate you all had to go in the first place.
With love and peace in my heart,
*Pictures are from Facebook: many of the 5th graders and friends in the community at the beach. The overhead is from a drone that captured the candle-light circle, which at the time we didn't know was actually a heart and what we like to believe is Bella's view.