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Lesson from a Younger

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Since I have moved to Columbus, Georgia I have been going to Sunday school at the Catholic Church on exit six. Every Sunday I would wake up get dressed in my best church clothes and drag my sleepy self to the classroom. When I left the room I felt a pleased with the feeling of knowing more about God then when I went in. Once I finished my last year of Sunday school I wanted to help out in a class.

On the first day back I went into the main office at the top of the hill. The organizer of the Sunday school placed me in the pre-school class and I was filled with joy. It was the room that I wanted. Even though I would never want to be stuck in a room all day with a bunch of four year olds and all their silly questions as a career but it is where I wanted to be placed for an hour and twenty minutes every Sunday.

The kids came in one by one Aidan wouldn’t let go of his mother’s leg. Conner didn’t want to anything that they had to do. Catherine cried at the end of the day because she thought her mommy wasn’t going to come and get her. Mya sat and never said a word and to this day I have heard maybe five words come from her. Then there was this one little girl. She didn’t talk that much but her looks said it all. She looked lovable and beautiful. When I knelt down beside her and asked her name she told me Mia. I went to the table to get her name tag and there was no Mia in the stack of three pages full of names. I went to the roster to make sure her name wasn’t skipped. With the first run through I came up with no Mia in the class, so I went through it once again hopping I just skimmed over it and it still wasn’t there. After a couple minutes of trying to get it out of the girl, Ms. Star, one of the teachers of the class, started to take roll, so I took my failure and watched as the little hands went up followed by a soft toned here. She went through Annie, the little girl who everyday has yet another adorable dress, Conner, a different one then the Conner that didn’t want to do anything, Cameron, the wild child, and then Ms. Star called Amelia. What an adorable name I thought and I wonder if she was named after someone. That was when the mystery girl raised her hand. I was so excited that I finally learned her name and now that I can put the two together it made sense that she went be Mia. When I was sending the children to their parents this younger woman stepped up and asked for Mia. I laughed and told her the fun adventure of asking Mia if it was really her name. Her mother apologized that she didn’t tell us but I said that it was fine and funny.

As weeks Amelia “Mia” became an outgoing, cheerful girl in the class that every week I waited to see and get my hug from. Amelia liked to tell you about her week, pick up the container of crayons for me, and then stand by the door as we waited for her mom and hugged every other kid as they walked out of the room. Every day I told her mother how sweet Mia is and that I would see them next week. Weeks passed and my excitement about going to Sunday school each week grew and I felt different then when I was a student. I got to put the knowledge of God into the brains of twenty-eight young minds just like all my teachers had for me.
On Halloween we had class and all the kids got to dress up as a Saint. Conner a saint of the police officer and had fake handcuffs that he had funny cuffing the other boys with, Jamie the saint of animals and brought about six little stuff animals all with another name every time you asked him, Catherine was Saint Rose with a nice fake rose, Annie was Mary with baby Jesus, and I waited to see who Amelia was going to walk in as and then tell me about her trick-or-treating experience last night just like the others. The rest of the kids came in and started coloring their picture and class started.

Mia never came in that day and when I went in the next week Ms. Star told me that Amelia had passed away on October 31, 2010. My chest felt heavy as if someone hit me with a thousand pound weight. I never cried when I was around the kids. When Ms. Anne and Ms. Star sat the children down they sweetly said the Mia would no longer be with us because she moved away to go live with the angels. I choked on what they said the words were like breathing in second hand smoke. It was killing me knowing that Amelia couldn’t even do the little things that I have already had. She would never be able to have sleep over’s with her friends and stay up all night and talk about the people at school that drive you insane, start high school not event that start middle or even elementary school, she wouldn’t be able to a Halloween party and party like crazy people with her friends.

The class ended and I went to pick up my younger sister from the first grade room her teacher knowing that I helped with pre-school asked me if I was in the class that lost a child. I could barely even nod my head it felt as if my brain was a boulder instead. I practically dragged my sister to the church and down the aisle that my parents were sitting. My sister slid into the pew first and moved close to my mother, who was turned around talking to the lady and man that she talked to every week. Like every Sunday my father asked me I had a good class usually I follow it with “four year olds and glue is a bad idea” or “who know that it takes so many boys to pull out you measly paper towel”. That day I answered with a flat out no. My mom looked at me and stopped her conversation then she asked why because she could tell that it was something that was really bugging me with her supermom instincts. That is when I said that a girl in my Sunday school class had died. The words could barely come out of my house before the tears poured out like rain. My dad wrapped his arm around me and pulled me close so that I could cry. Of course my mother had to ask who because by then she knows all their names and every story that I told of them. My mother, being the nosey person that she is, asked me all these questions but I can barely remember because I was crying so hard.

I usually care on how I look and what people would think of me if they saw me doing anything, but that day it didn’t matter to me that there were glancing eyes and side comments. As mass proceeded I slowly calmed my crying to silent tears running down my face.

As I told Mia’s story to my friend on Monday I realized that Mia didn’t know it was coming. She was a thriving girl that was playing outside with friends just like any normal kid when she cut her foot. The wound didn’t get clean and she caught Group A Streptococcal. In the matter of two days Amelia had passed on. Thanks to Amelia I have learned that any day could be my last. To not leave out an “I love you” or tell your friends what you mean to them with a nice big hug.

Thank you Amelia “Mia” for the lesson you have taught me. The time I have left will be spent everyday not knowing what will come. When I’m with my friends I’ll make sure I’ll hug them good-bye and at night tell my family I love them because I don’t know if they will ever see me again or if I will see them.
R.I.P- Amelia “Mia” Madison Michel August 15, 2006- October 31, 2010



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