93-year-old Louise Edlen has been waving to this school bus full of lively children for the last 5 years from her little dining room window.
She doesn’t know their names, but she knows their faces. Each morning she waits for their smiles, and she eagerly anticipates their waves back in her direction.
They also don’t know Louise, but according to these students, she’s “part of the family.”
The morning wave has truly become the Arlington school bus No.7’s tradition, so much so, that the kids panicked when they drove by one morning and didn’t see “grandma in the window.”
The bus driver, Carol Mitzelfeld, discovered that Louise had a stroke, and she passed the tragic news onto her students who were seriously worried about their window-waving friend.
One 7th grader, Axtin Bandewerfhorst, told KING 5 News, “Carol was telling us that a lot of times she doesn’t remember her daughter’s name, but she always remembers to wave to the kids on the bus. That made me feel really special.”
Along with the help of Carol, the students decided to surprise Louise in the hospital with flowers.
Louise was overwhelmed with the heartwarming gesture from the kids she barely knew.
Because she couldn’t be there to greet them the next morning, she put up this sign instead.
“That made me really smile,” said 10th grader, Cheyanne Holt. “It shows how much we mean to her.”
So in response, they made this adorable panorama picture of the bus showing them waving to Louise. They decided to bring the bus to her, since she couldn’t come to them.
“This is from the kids. They miss you and want you to get better,” Carol told Louise.
After the stroke, it was very difficult for Louise to talk, but she did manage to respond: “I miss, them too. I’m trying to get better.”
Her husband Dave said seeing the kids on the bus “is everything in the world to her.”
Sadly, Louise died on Christmas Eve a few months later. Her daughter, Cheri Jensen made a sign to put up in the window her mom waved from for the kids to read. It said, “Grandma went to heaven. She loved you all.’”
The story of Louise reminds us to never underestimate just how big the little things can really be. The smiles. The waves. The pats on the shoulder. The simple gestures.
You don’t always have to talk to have a soul connection.
These kids and the “grandma in the window” shared a bond that a thousand words couldn’t do justice.
And it all started with one little wave…