The kids on bus No. 7 are like one big family; every morning they greet each other and the bus driver—Carol Mitzelfeld, who knows each of the 90 students by name—and the “granny in the window.”
On the way to school, they pass by a wooden house with a dining room that faces the road. And every day, a white-haired little old lady looks out for the bus and waves to them with both hands.
The 93-year-old woman has been waving to the kids every school day for five whole years.
“A lot of times she doesn’t remember her daughter’s name, but she always remembers to wave to the kids on the bus,” said 7th grader Axtin Bandewerfhorst.
The woman, Louise Edlen, lives with her husband Dave to whom she has been married to for over 50 years. She has 30 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren, and loves to see joy on children’s faces.
But one day, Louise wasn’t there.
The children had come to think of Louise as part of their family, so it was sad to see that maybe she wasn’t feeling well that day.
But then she wasn’t there the next day, or the next.
Concerned, everyone in the bus wanted to find out what had happened.
Busdriver Mitzelfeld stopped by to check, and found out that Louise had had a stroke recently, and for the past few days was recovering in a rehabilitation center.
But she was so grateful that these children thought of her as much as she thought of them.
The next day, there was a sign in the window.
The kids wanted to make a sign for Louise in return, to show how much it meant to them. Mitzelfeld visited Louise the next day with a schoolbus sign from the kids.
“They miss you and want you to get better,” she said.
Louise’s voice was strained because she was partially paralyzed from the stroke, but with some effort she replied:
“I miss them, too. I am trying to get better.”
Her husband Dave added, “It means everything in the world to her.”
“It gives her something to look forward to every day.”