FLOWERS FOR A SPECIAL DAY Erin was five years old. One day she came inside after playing on her swing and noticed that a few people in her family were sitting around quietly, looking a bit unhappy. Auntie Susan had phoned to tell some sad news. Erin’s great grandma (Great Gran) had died. The telephone rang a lot that day and night - and the next - and everyone spoke quietly. Dad told Erin that there was to be a special day to remember Great Gran in three days time. Dad said that lots of their family and friends would be going to church to say a sort of good-bye to Great Gran. The next day, Auntie Susan and Uncle John came to visit. All the grown ups were busy preparing for the special day. Mum was doing a lot of cooking. She was washing and ironing their best clothes. And Erin’s big brother, Josh, had to get a new shirt. Erin listened to the grown-ups talking and wanted to join in. She had many questions to ask. But the grown-ups were far too busy for Erin and her questions. So she went away by herself and thought and wondered. She wondered about Great Gran and about heaven and angels and she wondered about the day after tomorrow. When that day came, Erin knew it was the special day. But everyone was still too busy for her questions. Erin knew it must be a very important time, so she didn’t put on the skirt and top that Mum put out ready for her. Instead, she looked for the very special dress she had worn in the Christmas play at kindy last year. She found it in her cupboard. It was beautiful. It was white and pale pink and was made of a floaty material and reached nearly to her ankles. Erin put it on carefully. Then Erin went out into the garden. She picked some flowers to make a posy and, as there were plenty of flowers, she picked some more and put them in her hair. Then Erin made a sort of double daisy chain necklace to hang around her neck. Next, she went inside and gathered up all the ribbons she could find. Erin tied ribbons around the flowers; and she tied ribbons around her middle and ribbons around her wrists. Then Mum was calling: “Erin, time to get ready.” “I am ready, Mum,” said Erin. As soon as Mum saw Erin in her long dress and all the flowers and the ribbons, she began to say a big “Oh, no!” But then she stopped, looked at Erin again, and said, “Yes, I can see that you are ready!” When they got to the church there was sad music playing. All the people’s faces were sad too. But, when Erin walked into the church, everyone slowly began to smile. The lady playing the organ even began to play a happier tune. When the people in church sang the special songs, they smiled as they sang. And they smiled all the while as people talked about Great Gran. After they came out of the church a lot of people spoke to Erin. Some gave her hugs. An old man shook her hand and she felt very grown up. Erin showed everyone that it should not be all sadness when someone very old dies. It was Erin who showed everyone that this special time can be a time for pretty flowers, and colours, and ribbons, and smiles, and children, and thinking of tomorrow with happiness.