Fostering case studies - a borrowed child

The silence is deafening!

The child has gone; the small mite who shared a part of our lives for more than five months.  All vestiges of her presence are neatly packed away.  Like memories of her, hidden in our minds.  The odd sign is still apparent though.  The garden swing, silently redundant now, moves imperceptibly in the breeze.  Echoes of her silver, bubbling laughter surround it - the image of her imploring blue eyes as she shouted "More! More"!

The tadpoles live in peace once again, delving into the murky depths of the pond.  No longer in fear of being caught by eager little fingers, before being thrown back with disdain, if they refused to wiggle!  How she'd love to see the baby toads as they develop!  I feed the goldfish in solitude.  

I collect the eggs alone today.  No shining little face by my side, peering expectantly into the nesting boxes to shout "Yes!" and clap her hands excitedly if the hens have obliged, or a sorrowful shake of the head, a mournful "No!" if the nests were empty.  Oh! Her joy the day we found the two chicks newly hatched one black the other bright yellow, protected by a fussy, clucking Mother!

A discarded bunch of flowers lies forlornly on the path, picked by little hands.  (Weeds, actually, but to a child, all is beautiful, even the humble dandelion!)  The Guinea pig squeaks hopefully for his daily carrots, but none appear at the cage door. (Later, I'll do it later.)

Time hangs heavy on my hands, but I can't face our usual walk alone.  The baby goats will remain unvisited today; the passing tractors will miss her cheery wave and shout of "Bye bye!"

Practicalities next, (we're out of loo rolls, and cheese. I must go to the supermarket!) When I get into my car, a pile of sandy little shells greet me.  That day we went to the beach, and she got frightened by the patch of sticky mud on her shoes, holding up her arms to be carried!  I won't throw the shells away just yet.

I wander round the house, idly tidying here and there.  A yellowing apple core under a chair; still bearing tiny teeth marks. A couple of Smarties under a rug, a favourite hiding place!  A poignant, tiny white sock under the stairs - whatever happened to the other one?  The bathroom neat and tidy now, no disarray of plastic ducks adorning the shelves, just a brightly coloured toy that I missed - still full of water.  I shut her bedroom door from habit; I sing a lullaby in silence.

You brought so much joy and merriment into our lives; we are so much richer for the experience.  It gives us the strength and hope to carry on our work.  Thank you, my little one: you left with a piece of all our hearts.

God bless you, and keep you safe

From a Carer