A New Mourning
Five-year-old Amy anxiously asked, “Is my mother here?”
“Amy, how nice to see you!” exclaimed Mrs. Murphy. “Won’t you come in and visit for a while?”
Amy’s big brown eyes darted past Mrs. Murphy and peered into her parlor, hoping to see another person there. Disappointed, she answered, “No, thank you, Mrs. Murphy. I’m just looking for my mother. I know she sometimes stops here on her way home from shopping.”
What do I say to this child? Mrs. Murphy asked herself, turning a little pale. Then, regaining her composure, she said, “Amy, please come in for a minute. I just happen to have some gingerbread cookies! How about having some milk and cookies with me?” tempted Mrs. Murphy as she remembered the last time she had seen Amy.
It was only a week ago—at Amy’s mother’s funeral. Little Amy had looked lost in the crowd of adults offering condolences at the funeral home. Uncomfortable, too, in her starched blue dress and freshly polished white shoes. And now here stood five-year-old Amy in her kitchen—eager to satisfy her hunger—but after that to remember why she had come to this house.
Amy noticed the starched white pinafore apron Mrs. Murphy was wearing. It was the kind her mother always wore. Mrs. Murphy’s thin hands were shaking as she busied herself with Amy’s snack.
“Oh, thank you, Mrs. Murphy!” exclaimed Amy as she hopped onto one of the familiar white kitchen chairs. Amy had been here many times before. Mrs. Murphy was a good friend of Amy’s mother, and Amy’s friend too. And there was always something good to eat whenever Amy and her mother stopped by for a visit.
“Have some more cookies,” urged Mrs. Murphy. “Then I’ll walk you back home, where I know your brothers and sister must be wondering where you are!”
Hand-in-hand, the two walked to a home that was past several houses down the street, where Amy’s aunt, brothers, and sister were waiting for her. Mrs. Murphy had successfully avoided answering Amy’s question about her mother. It was then that everyone began to lavish Amy with so much love and attention that she no longer looked for her mother nor grieved for her loss.