Дил розларим сизга армугон!
Дилсора Фозилова
Dilsora Fozilova

2/3/2013 9:01:35 AM
A Doll for my Little Sister

I was waiting for the long weekend to buy flower baskets to arrange on the sides of the entrance door. The weather forecast predicted frost for Monday night, and it rained all day on Tuesday. On Wednesday I didn’t have my afternoon lecture at the university, so I decided to shop for my baskets. On my way, I stopped and got my mail from the mailbox. Besides my provincial and federal student loan confirmation, there was an envelope from Edmonton Police. I could feel the pit of my stomach tighten with dread. I had never received mail that pleased me from the EPS. I sat in the car anxiously and opened the envelope. As soon as I saw the picture, indistinct apart from the license plate of my Ford Escape on the road, my eyes searched for the amount required to pay for speeding.
“One hundred and forty-five dollars?”
“When did I speed?”
“Damn it!” I forcefully shoved the letter into the glove box above the passenger seat and put my head against the steering wheel. I was ready to cry.
I quickly came to the realization that one-hundred and forty-five dollars was quite a bit of money while I was still a student at the university, unemployed, and having the responsibility of taking care an immense mortgage. I then shifted towards anger, decrying that the police service is unreal. I again scanned the letter and pictured the intersection where I had been caught speeding – 14 km an hour over the limit.” I even didn’t know that the speed limit at the intersection of 118 Avenue and 122nd Street was only 50 km an hour. As I walked into the Superstore I was thinking of different ways of cutting some expenses to pay off my speeding ticket. Maybe I should skip buying flower baskets this summer. I rationalized that Alberta’s non-existent summers didn’t warrant baskets. Maybe I should buy a few cheap small flower cones and make my own baskets to make up for the speeding ticket. That way I will be able to balance out the speeding ticket fee.
I grabbed some necessary groceries and walked to the checkout. As I stood behind an older woman, I heard a little boy talking to the cashier. His voice was like jingle bells. I looked over the shoulder of the older woman to see the cashier handing this little boy his money back; he couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6 years old. The young cashier girl said,
"I’m sorry, but you don’t have enough money to buy this doll.’’
The boy looked crestfallen and turned to the older lady.
’’Granny, are you sure I don’t have enough money?’’
’’You know that you don’t have enough money to buy this doll, my dear" - she replied. She then asked him to wait for a minute while she picked up something she forgot to get. She left quickly.
The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand. Finally, I walked toward him and I asked him whom he wished to give this doll to.
"It’s the doll that my sister loved the most and wanted so much for Christmas. She was sure that Santa Claus would bring it to her".
"Maybe Santa Claus will bring it to her after all, and maybe you should not worry". I smiled.
"But…” He stammered, with dejection in his eyes.
"Santa Claus can’t bring it to her where she is now. I have to give the doll to my mommy so that she can give it to my sister when she goes there". His eyes began to well up with tears.
"My sister has gone to be with God. Daddy says that mommy is going to see God very soon too, so I thought that she could take the doll with her to give it to my sister.’’ He wiped his nose with his forearm.
My heart nearly stopped. The little boy looked up at me and firmly said,
"I told daddy to tell mommy not to go yet. I need her to wait until I come back from shopping". Then he pulled a photo of himself at the playground from the pocket of his sweater and showed me. He looked very cheerful in the picture; he was laughing and spraying water at someone.
"I want mommy to take my picture with her so she won’t forget me. I love my mommy and I wish she didn’t have to leave me, but daddy says that she has to go to be with my little sister". He wiped a teardrop from his cheek with his sleeve.
Then remembering the doll, he looked down at it again and became very quiet. I quickly reached for my wallet and grabbed a twenty dollar bill.
"I suppose we should check again, just in case you do have enough money for the doll!’’ I said.
"Okay” he replied with doubtful tone. "I hope I do have enough". I added my money to his without him seeing and we started to count it. There was enough for the doll, with change left over. He didn’t get excited, but his bewildered eyes were full of appreciation.
“Thank you God for giving me enough money!” The tone of his voice was so innocent and full of faith. Then he looked at me and added,
"I asked last night, before I went to sleep for God to make sure I had enough money to buy this doll, so my mommy could give it to my sister. He heard me! I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for my mommy, but I didn’t dare ask God for too much. But he gave me enough to buy the doll and a white rose anyways. My mommy loves white roses.”
I could not fight my tears anymore and looked away to hide them from the boy. He clasped one of his small hands so tightly around the money, staring at the doll in the other. A few minutes later, while the cashier was scanning through my groceries, the old lady finally returned to the line. I paid for my groceries and left in a totally different state of mind from when I entered the supermarket.
My heart was heavy like a winter jacket that had been forgotten outside in the frosty, rainy night. My emotions were so unstable and my feelings so ambivalent: for a moment life seemed too short and precious, and for another, unfair with too much heartache. I cried intermittently making my way through the garden centre. I bought two baskets of flowers without worrying about my speeding ticket.
I found myself wishing I could know what happened to the boy’s mom and sister. I unconsciously and irrationally decided they had been in a car accident, and felt immense guilt for speeding. When I got home I found myself digging into local news websites, wishing to find anything related to that little boy’s family. I knew discovering the reason for the little boy’s loss would not change anything, but for an unknown reason I was eager to find out.
The next morning I went to my garage and started to go through the recycled newspapers. First, I found an article in a week-old local newspaper which mentioned a drunken man in a truck, who hit a car occupied by a young woman and a little girl. The little girl died right away and the mother was left in a critical state. The family had to decide whether to continue life support because the young woman would not be able to recover from her coma.
My heart started to beat faster. It was a clue to the mystery. I learned her name and I had no doubt that the young woman was the boy’s mom and the little girl his sister.
“But when did she die?” “Maybe there are more articles about the accident?” “Maybe someone wrote something about the faithful little boy the woman left behind?” I kept going through piles of newspapers. I couldn’t find anything else, but when I searched her name on Google I found a few stories related to her case. Also, I got to know that the young woman had passed away and her funeral was taking place at the Robertson-Wesley United Church on Thursday. I checked the calendar on my desktop in a rush. It was Thursday.
I felt an overwhelming compulsion to go – white roses in hand; I went to the funeral home where the body of the young woman was present so people could pay their last respects. The church was tall and elegant. Inside the church, two entrances were decorated with beautiful flowers – reminiscent of heaven. Even the smell inside the church felt so delightful. The huge room was full of people. Perhaps the same people who sent the little angel to heaven with their tears and prayers were sending her mom to be with her.
As I was not Christian, I went to church only a few times in my life and this was the first time I had gone to a funeral. I felt nervous. I looked around secretly, worried if anyone would ask why I was there. I didn’t know anyone here. I grabbed a brochure beside the entrance and quietly walked to the last pews. A photograph of her with the little girl was on the brochure. Both were so beautiful and smiling. The woman had long blonde hair and the little girl had golden blonde hair as well. Inside the brochure, there was a poem and some information about the service.
God saw you getting tired
When a cure was not to be
So He closed his arms
Around you and whispered
“Come to Me”
You didn’t deserve what
You went through,
So He gave you rest.
God’s garden must be beautiful,
He only takes the best.
And when we saw you sleeping
So peaceful and free from pain,
We could not wish you back to suffer that again.
But you will always be missed and loved!
The ceremony was beautifully conducted. I had never witnessed a Christian funeral ceremony; maybe this was the way funerals take place all the time, but being new to Canada, I did not know much about Canadian culture and Christian faith. The brother of the deceased read a eulogy. He told some stories of her childhood; everyone laughed and cried at the same time. It was long and heartbreaking. During his speech, her brother had to continually pause as he couldn’t control his tears.
After all the funerary services were completed, people started to walk past the casket and pay their respect. She was there, peacefully lying, holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest. I left the church, teary-eyed, feeling that my life had been changed forever. The love that the little boy had for his mother and sister is still, to this day, hard to conceive of, and in a fraction of a second, a drunk driver had taken all this away from him.