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Chrisa Couldn't Play


During my childhood, I would spend most of my time at Grandma and Grandpa's house and many nights, I would fall asleep in the guest-room after the tenth or eleventh bed-time story. I didn't like sleeping. I felt it took me away from a fascinating world I needed to explore!

Sometimes grandma would fall asleep first as many other courageous adults who attempted to 'tuck me in' which left me free to wander around a dark house or peeking through the window overlooking Chrisa's house.

I was a bit apprehensive of that old house and especially curious about who comes in and out the front door. I knew Chrisa lived there with her family but I never saw her outdoors.

Grandma Anna told me she was a sick little girl who had to stay in bed until she felt better. Grandpa Francesco would always ask me to be quiet when listening to my collection of fairy-tales in the tape recorder because the little girl needed to sleep. For that, I would always keep very quiet when I was over to their house not wishing to wake up 'the little girl'.

One day I asked grandma if I could go over to Chrisa's house and play with her. I had brought with me all my toys and hoped to somehow stir up that little girl. To my distress, grandma refused to give me permission and bluntly stated that Chrisa was too ill to play and that I had to wait until she got better.

I started making calculations and returned with another question for grandma.

"She's been sick for too long! When will she get better?"

"Well, soon..." Grandma reluctantly replied.

"Soon, when?" I insisted.

Grandma kept trying to attract my attention away from the girl and I finally gave up the questioning since something about the adults' secret concerning Chrisa felt threatening to a girl my age.

For the next couple of months I would spend more and more time by the window. From there I could see her bedroom window and was even able to discern slight movements behind that white curtain that kept me away. I would leave a doll or a teddy bear on the windowsill and wait behind my curtains to catch a reaction. A few times I saw a little hand pulling the curtain aside and what looked like a yellowish little face looking towards my direction.

One night my grandma's narration was interrupted by a woman's scream and at that, a violent commotion could be heard from the neighbors' house. I darted towards the window and my grandparents both ran to the front balcony. I heard them whisper but all I could make out was a single phrase grandpa uttered.

"Not now-they might not like it..."

An ambulance arrived, people started crying and grandpa came back to put me to bed. He closed my window and pulled down the blinders.

In the days that followed, I overheard the adults saying that Chrisa wasn't doing well and constantly referring to a "tragedy" and I knew something terribly frightening was going to happen. Being too young to know better, I came up with an idea that if Chrisa could have all my toys, she will be happy again and the illness would go away. I summoned up my courage, collected all my best toys and knocked on their front door.

I was greeted by an elder woman I had seen a few times from a distance, Chrisa's grandma. I told her my plan and after we got my grandmother's permission as the elder requested, I followed her upstairs into Chrisa's bedroom.

I still remember that tiny bed by the window overwhelmed by my stuffed toys, dolls, books, etc.

Days later Chrisa came back on a stretcher but the crying didn't stop. Every day and every night I would see the lights on all over her house but her own bedroom remained dark and silent until that dreadful night when the crying became louder.

"No. No. Not my child! Whose God are you?"

I stayed behind the window frozen until grandpa came rushing in, picked me up and took me home.

"You're not supposed to be here tonight-you're too young" was all I was told.

Chrisa's funeral took place a few weeks after the final incident and I wasn't allowed to pay my respects. I wasn't allowed to be at my grandparents' house during the mourning and wake either.

That spring, Chrisa's family moved out leaving nothing but an empty cold house behind. My toys were returned to me with a thank you note from the girl's mother. I put them back on their shelves and never touched them again.

One night I was awaken by something falling off the shelf onto my bed. My stuffed monkey pencil case was head down on my side. I picked it up and hurried to put it back in its place. The second night the toy hit my face on its way down from the shelf. Again I put it back. The third night, the same ritual only this time I put the toy with its back against the far end of the wall and placed a wooden cube in front of it to block its way.

A few nights passed until I was awaken again by the monkey lying face down on my pillow. Looking up on the shelf I could see the cube standing in its place as did many other toys that were "almost balancing" on the edges of the shelf. None of them ever fell so how could a toy that was carefully placed in the far-away corner not only fall but instead of hitting the floor, come face down on my bed, a meter and a half away from its seated position? I screamed as loud as I could and I remember my parents running in my bedroom trying to calm me down.

I asked my mum to remove the toy from my room. I didn't sleep that night since my mind was fixated on that falling toy.

Chrisa Couldn't Play

In the morning I decided it would be better if I put the toy on my dad's bookcase where I wouldn't have to see it so often. I pulled out a chair and picked up the toy when I realised it made a strange sound when you squeezed it. I pulled down the zip on its back to find a drawing I had never put in there myself. It depicted a house with a red fence and a large garden full of colourful flowers and green trees. Two girls were sitting on the front porch playing with what looked like a pink kitten. It was signed "Hi, Chrisa".

Up until today, I keep wondering if the toy was deliberately thrown on my bed by a 'restless energy' of some sort or by pure coincidence. And yet, I have found the logical or empirical evidence too weak to support such conclusion.

Chrisa died at the age of eight after a long battle with cancer. Ever since she was diagnosed, she had to stay indoors. While I was playing happily with my toys and running around annoying all others, Chrisa was getting blood transfusions and barely clinked to life.

We never had the chance to play in reality. I never got to see her smile but in that drawing that still decorates my old bedroom wall, both girls are smiling in the open air under the brightest of all suns.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, rhodes68, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
16 years ago (2008-09-21)
Thank you Shayna (what a beautiful name!) for your kind comment and for reading about Chrisa. I agree with you that she's now free and healthy to enjoy all these endless sun-shines she was deprived of in her earthly life.
Shayna (3 posts)
16 years ago (2008-09-20)
I'm sorry about Chrisa. It was nice of you to give her your best toys, the ones you loved the most. That was very kind. 😁 I think that the monkey that kept near you was Chrisa's spirit who wanted you to know she was there. 😊 But she's rid of her cancer, and she's purely happy up in heaven.:)

God Bless,
Shayna ❤
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
16 years ago (2008-08-19)
thereverand:thank you for reading my story as well as for your kind comment. It's a true story about a girl who deserved a better life than the one she got. I shared it despite the bitter memories I have of her because I wanted all of you to know of her existence, to know she has been here, she had her own place in this world and to urge anyone who cares to say a little prayer for her.
thereverand (2 posts)
16 years ago (2008-08-19)
wow I've never been so proud of someone I've never met. I sincerely hope this story is true because it is a great one.
whitebuffalo (guest)
16 years ago (2008-08-18)
"I think what I did was very little". Oh Tammy, no, it was NOT little.
In my job I deal with people on a daily basis that are in the process of leaving this life, and I tell you, the things that people are afraid of are simply astounding. People are afraid to touch the hand of the old woman who has wasted away to 78 lbs as they feel that she is "too close to death". People are afraid to brush the hair of the old man who can only rock back and forth to ease his pain as the sight of him "creeps" them out. People are afraid to read to the blind woman who's family has abandoned her as she has been told by doctors she only has a few months left to live.
What? Are they afraid that immanent death will rub off on them? It is not catchy, but it is inevitable.
What you did was kind, and thoughtful and straight from the heart of a young girl who could not possibly know what was going on as most of the facts were hidden from you, to protect you. When a youngster truly experiences death, especially in one just as young as them, it DOES leave a lasting impression. MOST often it results in the fear of dying, and the unknown factor of what is out there AFTER I die? Or is it all the end?
The amazing thing is, as we get older, we either have the resources fall at our feet, or we have the opportunity to check things out ourselves to determine what WE feel is The Afterlife. Even if the fear of death is very real.
It IS a battle. But we WILL conquer it. If only stages at a time.
Thanks again.
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
16 years ago (2008-08-18)
Autumn, thanks for your beautiful thoughts-it means a lot to me.

I think what I did was very little for a girl who couldn't but I suppose being too young sets all the limitations. Because of her death I learnt to 'fear' for the first time in my life, at least back then, and because of her memory I learnt to believe there's a cause, a reason behind what at times seems like a random, incomprehensible universe. I'm still battling!

Thank you my friend for your support ❤
whitebuffalo (guest)
16 years ago (2008-08-18)
What a gorgeous story, Tammy. Thank you for sharing this with us. I do not know how I missed it. I am so glad that she finally got the chance to tell you thanks in her own way, and to show you that, to her at least, the two of you WERE playing. How kind of you, as a young girl, to have shared so many of your favorite toys in the hopes of her getting well. Sometimes all it DOES take is a kind word, a shared toy, or a smile from behind the white curtain. How absolutely beautiful.
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
16 years ago (2008-08-03)
Thank you Troy for commenting and for reading my stories.

I agree with you-although it's not a story of ghosts hunting me down, I'm also very disturbed by the events that took place back then. I don't know what I find worst, a little girl's death, her suffering, or that image of her sickly face looking through the window!

Children shouldn't have to suffer so much!
troyarn (5 stories) (479 posts)
16 years ago (2008-08-02)
This story was one of the freakiest on this site, yet one of the most touching. I am going to be thinking of this one for some time.
Thanks very much for sharing this with us (as well as the photo!).
I may be getting old or something, but I was really touched with your innocent thought that sharing your toys would heal her.
Very good story and now I delve into the others.
Also, it seems we were born in the same year (so I guess I am not THAT old!).
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
16 years ago (2008-08-01)
Dear James, thank you so much for your wonderful comment in my story and I'm sorry it took me so long to see it-I apologise!

I do wish to write and actually publish something for children one day but I'm still not confident enough.

Some day though!
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
16 years ago (2008-08-01)
Thank you too for your kind words, Twilightkiss!

I do believe she is in a much better place, healthy and happy as she deserves.

Unfortunately I was introduced to the concept of death at still a young age and despite my fear and confussion then, I'm now thankful as it has led me to a strong and comforting faith in a deeper meaning of life beyond the material!
Twilightkiss (guest)
16 years ago (2008-07-31)
That was a wonderful story, thank you so much for sharing it. It made me cry. I am sorry she lost her life at such a young age. It is so sad. I'm sure heaven gained an angel. It must have been very confusing for you, and I think that the picture you posted and described is truely worthy of a place on your wall, and I'm gald you did so. Once again, thanks for sharing. ❤ ❤

rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-21)
Robert thank you for a wonderful comment that is much appreciated!

I hope that Chrisa is far away from all this pain and playing happily in the Land of Many Summers!
scaredshitless14 (2 stories) (7 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-20)
I'm not one to cry, but this story even made me shed a tear. Its a tragedy that Chrisa's life ended at such an early age, but it would seem that she really wanted to play with you as much as you wanted to play with her. It was the picture that she drew for you and the constant attempts for you to notice the picture that really got me. Even after death, she wanted to at least say hello to you. Anyways, keep sending in the good stories.

rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-19)
Thank you Francois for comming back. I had sprayed the drawing and put it in a glass frame ever since to prevent it from getting destroyed.

I think she would have liked others to see it.
Francois (220 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-18)
Dear rhodes,

That is a very beautiful painting, it is well preserved after all the years after Chrisa died. The setting is very peacful, a depiction of a heaven in which I am sure Chrisa would be in right now.

Thank you again for posting this wonderful story. God bless and take care.


rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-18)
Update: Annie, this is Chrisa's painting.

I hope that completes the whole picture now!

Thanks all people who have commented!
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-18)
Thank you faerie for commenting!

It has been a sad memory for so many years for me and still is as I think her death was a sad end to a short-lived and unhappy life but at least now I'm convinced she is happy and safe at last!
faerielike (15 stories) (268 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-17)
It sounds to me like you won her friendship after all. I think she wanted you to know you made her happy even though you were both confined from one another. I bet she was happy to know she had a friend out there. I bet there were a lot of times she sat at her window staring and wondering when she would be able to play with you. It's so sad her young life had to end in such a way. 😢
Another wonderful story! I really enjoyed it. 😊
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-16)
Hi Jennifer and thank you for your beautiful comment-it means a lot to me!

I'm sure she's in a better place now, more deserving to a little angel!

I'm going to post her painting so that the picture may be 'complete'.

Thanks again Jennifer!
Jennifer40 (20 stories) (202 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-16)
Wow, Tami. This one had me in tears. How sweet of you as a child to give her all your toys. Maybe this was her way of saying thank you to you.

Jennifer ❤
Francois (220 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-16)
Your welcome rhodes68. You are right that some stories don't have the "thrill" of typical ghost stories, but contain a greater feeling than thrill and that is truth and love. Better is a story built upon truth than a story built upon lies. I see you are a person close to God. I applaud that in a person, sadly it is rare to find it in the secular world these days, especially among the young.

God bless you, deus vobiscum and take care.


rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-16)
Thank you Francois for your words and for taking the time to read my story. I'm aware that it's not a thrilling ghostly tale but it still is something that has made me wonder through the years. Even more, it is that drawing and the way IT found ME that has added much to my faith in God and led me to accept His mysterious ways!

Thank you again!
Francois (220 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-16)
Greetings and salutations,

Hello rhodes68, you are a great writer and a great story teller. The tragedy of 27, 000 children dying everyday is all too real. Unfortunately, our world is so corrupt, so unbearable and so selfish. As the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. I am sorry to hear about her death. Perhaps, the cruelty of the world we all inhabbit has something to do with the many restless souls staying behind.

Someday, maybe someday, little by little the cruelty of life will fade away as long as understanding and caring people increase even more in number. As for your the story you have shared with us, I want to thank you for posting it. It is a very teary story, if that is the right way to describe it. But it is good to know that there is life after death. Happily enjoying the gardens of heaven and beyond. God bless you rhodes68 and deus vobiscum.


rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-16)
Hi ominousnyxx and thanks for commenting.

I suppose it would be a great theory since I also believe that one life is not enough but I don't really know if I believe in reincarnation.

Thanks though for your kind remark 😊
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-16)
Hi Annie and thank you for reading my story. Yes, I still have it on my bedroom wall.

It's in a frame so I will try to take a picture of it and submit it. You're right, I should have thought of that myself!


Tammy 😊
ominousnyxx (10 stories) (136 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-15)
That is such a great and touching story.
Really heart felt. It would make such a good movie, lol.

Even though you were "annoying" as a child, I'm sure you brought happiness to Chrisa when you left your toys & I'm positive that she's still looking over you, or maybe she's been reincarnated, I mean to die at such a young age is just so sad and unfair.

I've always believed that when children die at young ages their souls are always reincarnated to a new born because they weren't meant to exist in this life.

So if she is, and you were meant to be bestfriends for life. I'm sure you meant someone almost similar to Chrisa.

Yes, yes I know, crazy theory! SHUSH! It's a nice theory. 😁
Annie (202 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-15)
What a sad, touching story. Brought tears to my eyes. Do you STILL have the picture? If so, would you please share it with the rest of us? Thanks for sharing.
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-15)
Thank you EVPResearcher for commenting!

I sincerely hope she has crossed since the idea of a child being lost after having lived such a deprived life would make me loose faith in many things!

Thank you for taking the time to read my story!

Tammy 😊
Rebelboy1987 (9 stories) (186 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-15)
and I just realized I overused the word story, hahaha. But I truly have enjoyed everything you've written. You better keep em coming!

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