Cookies Mean Love

I got a phone call from Ane’s school nurse yesterday morning, which is never a good sign.  I knew it was the school calling from the caller ID, and since Ane is not a discipline problem, I knew it was either her teacher or the nurse.  It was the nurse.

I was afraid that I was going to have to go pick Ane up, but the nurse was just letting me know that Ane had gotten smacked in the face during PE by an apparently uncoordinated boy who was doing jumping jacks too close to her and suffered a cut, fat lip.  The nurse gave her ice and she opted to go back to PE.  The nurse had only called home because “I like to call the parents when the kids have an injury to the face or head,” she said.

I appreciated that, and I thanked her for calling.  So, because I knew Ane had had a rougher day than usual, I decided to make chocolate chip cookies before the kids got home from school.  But there was another reason for it, too.

This last Saturday, a girl at Ane’s school passed away after a three-year fight with leukemia.  She would have been in Ane’s class this year, though they had never been in the same class before this year.  She had been in remission for most of the second grade year, but the cancer came back with devastating news – the chemo that she had taken previously had damaged her heart.  The school community knew that the end was coming, and is currently planning a fundraiser to help the family get back on their feet financially after living in a Ronald McDonald House all these months near Children’s Hospital.  She was in pallative care for the pain to keep her comfortable and her family was with her on Saturday when she died.

The Webmaster and I found out shortly after her passing via postings on Facebook, and decided that we would tell Ane before she went back to school on Tuesday (there was no school Monday for a teacher inservice day).  We sat her down Sunday after church to tell her, very simply, that her classmate had died.

The shock on her face broke my heart.  Ane’s entire experience with death has been with great-grandparents passing away, or Rusty, who was an elderly dog.  Her understanding of leukemia is framed by Little Mo’s experience, who is considered a survivor after so many years.  I really think that Ane thought that her classmate would beat the disease the same way Little Mo had.  So to tell her that no, this cancer actually claimed the life of someone her age, was very hard.

Ane’s first words after hearing the news summed it all up.  “But she was so young…”

The Webmaster and I talked with her a little while, she and I shed a few tears and we all shared some hugs.  But since this little girl was not a close friend, or even a current classmate because of her illness and absence, Ane rebounded quickly.  A letter came home from school on Tuesday announcing the passing of this little girl from the principal, and there is a memorial service scheduled for today (we will not be going).

Still, this has weighed heavily on my heart since Sunday.

So I made cookies today for my girl, because I can.  And she came home from school, had cookies and hot chocolate while she did her math homework, then roughhoused with her brothers until dinner, had dinner, did more roughhousing, then went to bed.

Because that’s how things are supposed to be when you’re in third grade.

And I can still tell her “I love you” with a freshly baked cookie.  Because of that, I am a blessed mother – even if she doesn’t fully realize that.  I know I am blessed.

One Response to “Cookies Mean Love”

  1. linda
    January 31st, 2013 08:06

    and…we are ALL richly Blessed having you and all of your beautiful Family in our lives…daily through your blog.
    We will keep the family of Ane’s young school friend
    in our Prayers.