They were more than just kids on the playground. We had unofficially adopted the kids. They were special. They taught us a lot. We have been going to that playground since we moved here, we know the parents and kids who meet in the evening to walk, play and socialize. I call us "the park family". We share stories, success and frustration.
Alex and Milena joined us about 5 yrs ago. Their caretaker, Abuelita, lives across the street, so they became regulars at the park. Alex was an intelligent, upbeat and downright silly kid who was always goofing off. I was really impressed recently as Alex had learned to respect his peers and his school work improved. He was a cool kid with a lot of promise. I loved him as my own, and would have done anything for him, as I would my own kid.
Milena was an amazingly smart and cute little girl. She always had a smile and a hug. I spent countless hours, pushing her on the swing and chasing her around the playground. She was a bright light at the end of the day. I could always rely on her to bring some giggles and laughter to the playground.
|Milena Maria Alejandro-Bautista|
I'm gonna miss those kids. The playground family is gonna miss those kids.
I stopped by the playground after dark last night. I was alone. Bright stars in the sky. Shadows cast by the streetlights. The air was chilly and slight breeze moved across the swing set. No kids laughing, no adults walking. Just me and the quiet, sad playground.
Needless to say, the heavy sadness will linger for a while.
They were crossing the road after walking to the dollar store to get sweatpants. Crossing the road to get some Subway because the kids were hungry. A car coming down the hill, just after dark did not see them. No one person's fault, just a series of tragic events. Abuelita was also hit, but sustained only minor injuries.
A couple of weeks ago, we were hanging out and waiting for the super moon to rise. It finally did and in the light of the moon, Alex asked the wife, "What happens when we die? Do we just "poof", disappear?" The wife responded, telling him, " Well, we believe that if you believe in God then you will go to heaven when you die". Alex responded " Oh, that's good, because I believe in God".
Enjoy that playground in heaven, little ones.