After finishing his juice, young Michael anxiously heads to the dining room table to stare at the wrapped gift. Michael briefly glances at a lovely picture. It’s of Michael, proud Nanna holding baby sister Rachel. This was taken a few weeks ago on April twelfth at Rachel’s christening party. Today, five year old Michael will soon be leaving to a birthday party for pre school friend Adam. The party location is at a marine amusement park. Michael is very excited, Nanna will take him. On Sunday, Aunt Sharon happily arrived for a visit to see baby Rachel. Sharon will spend some time with a dear friend who is sick in the hospital. Sharon is watching Michael and sleeping Rachel until the babysitter Janet gets here. Sharon now sees Michael looking at the gift.
"It’s wrapped so nicely Michael, what are you doing?" He grins
"Mom put this bow on it but Adam says bows are for girls!" Aunt Sharon chuckles, moving close. She straightens out his shirt collar.
"Oh gosh, bows are for everyone. It’s a pretty thing to decorate a gift. So, do you have a birthday card that goes with it?" Michael nods.
"Yes inside, taped on the gift, a Buzz Lightyear colouring book and puzzle. There’s a Buzz pin just like mine. Mom picked a special one that doesn’t hurt you." Aunt Sharon smiles, Michael is a delight.
"That’s safe, your Mom is smart!" Just then there’s a knock on the door. It’s Louise Parker, the next door neighbour. She is grinning.
"Hello Sharon, how is the little princess today? I couldn’t get over how good she was at the christening. Oh, I’m here for my green punch bowl. Tomorrow is bingo night at the hall!" Sharon now remembers Louise called at noon. She welcomes her in the back porch.
"Nice to see you, Louise and the little princess is sleeping. Michael is going to a birthday party. Michael, chat with Louise." Sharon turns.
"Hi! Mom and Dad liked your gift but you spelled Rachel’s middle name wrong. It’s Melody not Melanie. Hey, there’s my Nanna!!" Now, Louise giggles as she reaches for the bowl from Sharon. Michael runs to get his jacket and the gift. He is so happy, Aunt Sharon watches him.
"Michael, I love that picture you drew on the coffee table. Mom, Dad, you and Rachel, me and Nanna. But who is the girl in the yellow dress, sitting in the rocking chair?" She touches Rachel’s toy kitten. Michael puts his jacket on, he proudly holds the gift. He faces Sharon.
"That’s Sunshine Lily, my everyday special friend! We love drawing and she reads me my space adventures. She can do magic too. That’s her in the picture over there. Bye Aunt Sharon, see you later." He dashes to Nanna in the car. Sharon sees the picture by the computer. Pretty Lily hugs Michael at a ball game. Now, the kitchen phone rings, it’s Michael, Rachel’s mother, Dana who asks about the baby. Dana tells that babysitter Janet Whitman is on her way. Sharon is curious.
"Dana, Michael just told me about Lily, a special friend. I thought Marianne Carter, the babysitter down the street is that special friend?"
"Yes, but Lily will always be a radiant joy in our hearts. Lily, a nurse’s aid, also Michael’s babysitter had tragically died in a car accident five month ago. A drunk driver had taken her life, very sad. So, has Michael left for the party?" Puzzled Sharon is deeply thinking.
"Sharon, are you ok, has Michael left?" Sharon breathes out.
"Ah, yes, he left with Nanna. Oh, Janet is here, pulling into the driveway. Good." Sharon can’t stop thinking that Michael called Lily his everyday friend. Smiling Janet now enters, she holds colour papers.
"Hi, I’m Janet Whitman, Rachel’s babysitter. These drawings were in my car, you can give it to Michael. Cute, a sun wearing a necklace." Sharon introduces herself, she takes the papers. She notices the necklace in the drawing is the same one Lily wears in the photo. Once Janet kicks off her shoes, Rachel wakes up with a cry. Janet heads for the stairs. In a daze, Sharon now places the adorable drawings next to Lily’s photo. She wishes to have known Lily, there’s a tender, satisfying feeling.
"Sunshine Lily, your smile is golden and sincere! You are special."
"Thank you." This soft whisper, one glorious, unforgettable moment.