Julie stood still and listened carefully. What was that sound coming from upstairs? It sounded like somebody was crying softly. Should she investigate? Without a sound, she tiptoed halfway up the stairs. Yes, somebody was definitely whimpering. She boldly continued up the rest of the way and around the corner.
“Lydia!” exclaimed Julie with true concern when she saw her little cousin crouched in the corner of the hallway.
But the little girl didn’t even look up at Julie. She simply could not stop sniffling.
Julie was alarmed. Lydia’s parents would be gone for a whole week, and during that time Lydia was to stay at Julie’s house. Both cousins had looked forward to the visit, but now what was wrong?
Julie gently put her arm around Lydia’s shaking shoulders. “What’s the matter, Lydia? It’s okay,” she said as soothingly as she could.
“I-I just want to go home,” cried Lydia.
Julie didn’t know what else to do, so she kept trying to comfort her cousin. Julie had been homesick before, too, so she knew how awful Lydia felt. But then Julie had an idea. “I’ll be right back,” she said.
Within minutes Julie returned with a glass of ice water and a cool washcloth. “Would you like something cold to drink? and let me pat your face with this cloth. There. Do you feel a little better?”
“C’mon, let’s find my Mom. Maybe she’ll be able to help.”
Later that week Julie was sitting by her desk, staring out the window, and feeling rather lonely. Just then Mom walked in and sat on the bed next to her.
“I’m proud of you, Julie. You really helped Lydia through her stay here, and you didn’t let your disappointment over her leaving early make her feel bad. You put her feelings first.”
Julie still missed Lydia, but she was glad that Lydia was where she could be happy again.
Connie is the mother of 5 children and attends Hope Protestant Reformed Church in Walker, Michigan.