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Photo Sep 04, 12 14 18 AM

This one is about life, not music.

It is the oddest feeling when your ten-year-old is the person most able to make a situation better.

The father of Opie’s best friend died on Tuesday. He had been quite ill for a few months, but took a sudden downturn a week ago, and after various medical ups and downs, he didn’t make it. He left behind a bereft family that included another ten-year-old and her younger sister.

I tried to puzzle out the best things we can do for all of their family, and each time, I come up with Opie as the answer. I did my best to explain to her that her friend and family needed her support and that just being there for them would be a big help.

We wrote condolence notes. Hers had sad guinea pigs carrying bouquets and love.

We went over this morning to hang out with them. She negotiated the tricky intersister space with ease and all three played happily for hours. Ok, much of the play was minecraft, but they were playing together.

We went to the wake. She hung with her friend and friend’s sister for another two hours, even though there wasn’t too much to do besides steal the funeral home mints. (Note to self: next time bring activities for kids. Note to funeral home: you need more mints.) Then they all wanted to go home to have dinner together. Tomorrow, she knows she’s going to the funeral.

My main role has been as Opie’s backup, making sure she’s doing ok so she can give as much as she can. Plus of course helping her friend’s mom as best possible.

But Opie is the one who is really making the sad situation a tiny bit brighter for everyone. Just by being there.

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