This story happened when my son was about 3 and a half and I was pregnant with my daughter. It was 1995, and my son would spend his mornings watching the Ninja Turtles on Nickelodeon. He was very lonely; being home schooled, and did not have any friends that were his age whom he could play with.
My husband and I decided that maybe it was time for him to go to kindergarten. It was hard for us to let go of our little boy, but we knew it was the right thing do. It was a good decision too, because we instantly saw a change in him. He was happier, more willing to learn, and was nicer and more playful to my husband and I.
One day, my Son came home more happy and excited than usual. He immediately started telling me about a nice girl he had met named Natalia. He begged for my permission to let her come over for a play date. I said it was fine, only I would have to talk to her parents about it.
The next morning, as I drove my Son over to his kindergarten, I waited to meet little Natalia and her parents. My Son excitedly introduced me to a very cute little girl, and then ran off to go play with her somewhere. I introduced myself to her guardian, who I found out then was only her foster parent. I learned that she had no father and that her mother was in rehab for the second time. Her mom had gone to jail for child abuse, and I only noticed then the large scars that Natalia bared.
My heart melted as I watched the poor little girl play with her dolls happily, as I thought of all the horrible things that had been done to her. I found out that she had a rather strong case of acute leukemia, and that she didn't have much longer to live.
The next day, Natalia came over. We noticed her symptoms as my husband and I watched them play. She would get very tired and would have to lie down from time to time. Sometimes, she would complain of a headache or dizziness. But otherwise, the kids had very much fun and got very attached to each other. She came over every Saturday since, until about 2 months later her health issues stopped her from coming.
My husband and I grew much attached to little Natalia, and we were devastated when one day they took her to the hospital. Our son did not know what was going on, and was very upset when he didn't see his best friend at school and on Saturday.
He grew temperamental and very unhappy. We were barely able to talk to him. A few days before Natalia's passing, my son and I went to the store and bought her a small teddy bear holding a little pink heart that said "I love you". When you squeezed the little bear, it would squeak "I LOVE YOU!" loudly.
The same day, we drove to the hospital to say our goodbyes. Tears welled in my eyes as we approached the little girl, very pale and drowsy on the hospital bed. My boy knew something was wrong, and as he gently laid the teddy bear next to her, he took her hand and started to cry. We had only known her a few months, but she made such a big impact on our family that we almost considered her as our own.
But leukemia got the best of her, and three days later, Natalia died. I got the little teddy bear back from the foster parents, and put it away in my closet.
The coming weeks were hard for my son. He would refuse to play with any other kids at his kindergarten, and he would spend his time at home sitting alone at his little desk drawing. He drew many pictures of Natalia. Once, at dinner, he asked when he was going to see her again. I told him that she was going to be gone for awhile, and that he was not going to see her for a long time. He dropped his head and left the table.
That night, at exactly 3 AM, I was awoken by a loud sound coming from my closet. Natalia's teddy bear screeched "I LOVE YOU!" louder than it ever did before. It went off every couple minutes, and after a while I got fed up. "Okay Natalia, go to sleep now. I'm tired. We can play in the morning..."
It stopped immediately.
In the morning, my Son looked happy. "Did you sleep well, dear?" I asked, intrigued. "No, but Natalia came. She said she misses us. We got to play a wittle bit..."
A smile spread across my face. My husband smiled at me. Our family was together again.