I have some sad news. Mon grand-père, my grandfather, who went in the hospital over Noël, Christmas, has passed away. He never fully recovered after surgery and was in so much pain these past few weeks that I was relieved when he passed on. He is no longer in pain! It's Maman and ma grand-mère, my grandmother, that I feel sorry for right now. They are devastated! Juliette is pretty sad, too, and hasn't been able to do much these past few days. She sits around listlessly, hugging her bear, and crying all the while. She's so bad off that she hasn't even touched her ballet bag! It's all I can do to comfort her. I've even taken an official leave of absence from school because I can't bear to leave her side. It feels bizarre being back in Paris for longer than two weeks, but this is where I must be right now.
Before I left the United States, I'd picked up a belated Christmas present for my sister: an American Girl doll of her own! She'd been admiring my Cécile doll for quite some time, and I always figured that I was going to get her a Marie-Grace. However, when I found out that the new Girl of the Year for 2014 was a ballerina, I knew that she was the one!
Juliette couldn't believe her eyes when I handed her the big, red bag, "Sophie, you really bought me an American Girl doll?! Aren't they extremely expensive?"
"Well, I know how much you've admired mine, and with two dolls, we can play together! Isabelle is the perfect doll for you; she loves ballet just like you do! I know she can't take the place of our grandfather, but she'll comfort you at least," I put my arm around Juliette, smiling all the while, "Now, go on. Open her up!"
Juliette carefully slid the lid off of the box, gazing at the doll that lay before her. Tilting the box upward so that she could get a good look at Isabelle's pretty hazel eyes, Juliette slowly began to smile. "Elle est très jolie, she is very pretty! And, ooh! She has pink hair streaks, my favorite color! Merci beaucoup, Sophie! I love her so much!"
I just smiled.
Have you ever given a special gift to someone who needed it?