A South African woman was startled when an orphaned child she had befriended on her shopping route asked for help to visit her mother's grave. The woman obliged and was moved by the outcome.
When it comes to kids, she stressed, "never make a promise that you can't fulfill."
Anam George, 28, was born and raised in South Africa. She works as a water process controller for both water and a treatment plant but always has time for a 6-year-old girl named Karla.
Karla is "very energetic, clever, and loving," Anam told The Epoch Times via social media. Karla lives with her grandparents, an aunt, and cousins, but is the only child in the household who lost both her parents—at a very young age.
"She only has her mother's picture that helps [her] know how pretty her mom looked," Anam explained.
The pair first met at a spaza shop—a South African convenience store—where Karla asked for loose coins to buy snacks or play games. Anam helped whenever she could from that day on, and the pair became firm friends.
"I know we love each other," said Anam. "Sometimes it's really hard to intervene between her and her family, but when she sees me she will coming running and she will be in my arms the whole time."
During an Oct. 25 encounter with her young friend, Anam was moved by a new request. Between giggling and dancing, Karla asked, "Can you take me to go see my mom?"
"I was not sure how to answer her," Anam recalled. "To shift her mind off that, I said, ‘Let's go buy some chips at the spaza shop.’"
As Anam carried Karla to the store, she heard the little girl proudly telling her friends that she would get to visit her mom. As the pair parted ways, Karla pleaded, "Please don’t forget to take me."
The little girl even went inside her house to bring a picture of her mother to show Anam, and later went to the gate with the picture while signaling not to forget about the plan she had for the next day.
At that moment, Anam agreed, asking Karla's grandmother for help in locating the grave.
The next day, Anam left work early to buy flowers with the last money she had, then drove to pick up Karla. "Little Karla all dressed up ... didn't go play, she came running when she heard my music playing," Anam recalled.
Reaching the graveyard with Karla and her aunt, Anam was immediately struck by the simplicity of Karla's wish and the importance of their visit. "I was heartbroken," she said. "I kept widening my eyes not to cry ... but I had to be strong for my little friend."
Karla, said Anam, had mixed emotions. "She was happy that she was around her [mother's] grave, which maybe gave her a sense of ease," she said, "and she kept giving me tight hugs while she kept looking at the grave."
Since their trip, Anam has visited Karla laden with clothes for Christmas that she bought her and some that were given by people from the #ImStaying group.
Anam also wants to thank everybody who has assisted the little girl or shared her story. "There's no amount of words that I can use to describe how thankful I am," she told The Epoch Times.
"Never make a promise that you can't fulfill to kids, because kids do not forget," Anam reflected of the lesson she learned that day," and always allow yourself to be used as vessels by God."