Unfiltered Story #18591

Charleston, SC | Unfiltered | January 21, 2017

I have just transferred to a new college, in a state that I’ve never been to where I have no friends or family, and things have been fairly stressful so far. I am working three jobs to pay for school and this semester I’m taking 21 credits (note: the minimum to be considered a full time student is 12 credits), including a major internship. To top it all off, my grandmother who has been sick for a very long time passes away in March.

I receive the news on a Monday morning and that really sets the tone for the day. I can’t afford to miss class and work so I opt to stay in South Carolina. The funeral is on the following Friday and I’m really upset that I can’t be with my family. I am working one of my jobs as a stagehand at a theater and the show is a dance recital for a local children’s school. It doesn’t require much work on my part other than sitting backstage and making sure the children don’t get into anything dangerous, so I’m mostly just sitting around.

My little sister sends me a picture of the memorial cards handed out at the funeral, and that’s when I lose it. I retreat to a dark corner so nobody notices me crying, but then over the headset I hear my next cue so I have to go stand by to raise the main curtain.

While I’m waiting for the cue, one of the dancers, a small girl probably no older than 5 or 6, tugs on my hand. When I look at her she says, “You’re pretty!” and gives me the most dazzling grin. I don’t know what to say, so I just reply “You’re pretty too,” and then my cue comes and she goes out onstage.

It was a small thing, but that little girl’s compliment coming out of nowhere on a night when I was feeling so horrible uplifted me. I miss my grandmother but whenever I think of her, that happy memory makes me smile.

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