It was Maria’s birthday and we all gathered at StarShine to wish her well.
I arrived a bit early and stopped by the kitchen to give her a hug. When I was visiting with Maria I was surprised to see a former girl student who graduated a few years ago. Her name is Angel and I had not seen her since then.
I went into the cafeteria and sat in one of the circled chairs to wait for the party to begin. Angel surprised me by sitting beside me. We talked about her life a bit and then she told me that her father had been very ill and she and her brother cared for him. She said her brother, who also attended StarShine, had dropped out of school to take care of their dad. And then she told me that their father had died two weeks ago, and now her brother was able to come back to school.
The party for Maria got under way and we sat there side by side, not talking, just sitting together. Suddenly she lowered her head and started to cry. I didn’t know what to say to this sad teenager, so I simply put my arm around her. I looked across the room and noticed that Jan was watching us. Later she told me that those were the first tears Angel had shed since losing her father and she was glad I was there for her.
Sometimes an adult just needs to sit and listen to a grieving young person and perhaps put their arm around them.
By Lois Jamieson
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