Losing a parent leaves a void no one and nothing in the world could ever fill, but kindness does a pretty amazing job of cushioning the blow of such a painful loss.
It’s especially hard when a child as young as nine years old finds herself without a mother. As incredible as all hands-on fathers are, there’s nothing quite like a mom’s presence. Everything at home runs smoothly because of mom’s impeccable meal planning, delicious cooking, organizational skills, and the values she and dad work hard to instill in their children.
A girl will always need her mom.
A mom, after all, is the first woman to teach her daughter the delightful things about hairstyles, getting dressed up, demonstrating good manners, and so much more. This is what Patricia Pieri and her daughter Isabella loved bonding over – talking while experimenting with beautiful hairstyles.
That is, until Patricia succumbed to a rare brain illness that she had been fighting since her daughter was three.
Isabella’s dad, Philip, was always a model father but he admits it’s never going to be the same – that there are things only Patricia could do perfectly.
Sharing his experience about struggling to fix his daughter’s hair, Philip recounts,
“She’d get mad at me for pulling her hair. I didn’t know how to do it. One day Isabella came home and it looked beautiful. I call her my princess and she looks the part, she plays the part and her confidence is way up, which is what I’ve been intending.”
Who could possibly be Isabella’s new hair stylist?
Turns out 47-year-old bus driver, Tracy Dean, was responsible. In the two years that passed since Isabella’s mom died, the bus driver had always noticed how the little girl would attempt to fix her hair on the bus. Then one day, Isabella came on board with a shorter haircut.
Understanding just how important it is at Isabella’s age to feel beautiful and content, Tracy knew just what to do to protect the little girl’s self-esteem.
She began asking Isabella to stay behind for a bit after all the other kids hopped off just so she could style Isabella’s hair.
“I could tell she was struggling with her hair. We usually do two French braids first and once in a while she just wants one braid. I also taught her how to brush her hair. She’d get on the bus and she’d say, ‘I brushed my hair. Does it look good? I’ll say, ‘You did awesome.'”
This warmed Philip’s heart, seeing how positively the simple act affected his daughter. The thoughtful bus driver doesn’t mind at all that styling Isabella’s hair adds a few minutes to her workday.
As a cancer survivor, she would always consider how her children’s lives would be turned upside down had she lost the battle.
“It’s just the way my mom raised me, to be nice to everyone—people who need a little love in their life. I like to give all of the kids a chance—even the naughty kids.”
The special bond Tracy and Isabella share proves just how impactful simple acts of kindness can be.
Watch the video below for a glimpse of their beautiful friendship.
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