Kit Steinkellner
October 27, 2015 1:54 pm

When you think “People that children are obsessed with” you tend to think “Actors who play superheroes” and “Disney Channel stars who eventually become pop icons.” But for one bus of students, the person they lost their minds over was a 93-year-old woman that waved to them every day on their way to and from school.

As NBC affiliate KING 5 reports, the kids who ride the Arlington, Washington school district’s Bus 7 have become very attached to the nonagenarian who has waved to the 90 kids on the bus every morning and afternoon for the past 5 years. They even had a nickname for their bus route celebrity: “The grandma in the window.” It’s become a tradition for the bus, to all wave back at “grandma” as they pass by her house.

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That’s why it was so upsetting for bus driver Carol Mitzelfeldt and her 90 pint-size passengers when one day, a few weeks back, they passed by “grandma in the window”‘s house and there was no one at the window. A little bit of sleuthing later, Mitzelfeldt learned from the elderly woman’s husband that her name was Louise Edlen, she had a stroke a few days earlier, and was currently in recovery at a rehabilitation center. When Mitzelfeldt relayed the news to her kids, they decided they had to do something to show their beloved celeb how much she was missed on their route.

“The kids and I said too bad she can’t have something to look at when she can’t be at the window,” Mitzelfeldt told The Huffington Post. “So we decided to take a picture.”

So the students posed for a photo on the bus, waving to their favorite 93-year-old, and Mitzelfeldt delivered a blown-up version of the shot to Edlen at the rehab center.

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Edlen, still recovering from her stroke, wasn’t able to say much, but she was able to tell Mitzelfeldt that she also missed the children, and she was doing everything in her power to get better so she could come home and resume her starring role at the window.

This past Tuesday, Edlen was able to leave rehab, and the students planned the sweetest surprise for her homecoming. They spelled out “Welcome Home” with signs in the windows and honked and cheered as they passed by her house.

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“I’ve told them, ‘this could be your grandma or grandpa — or even you someday,'” Mitzelfeld told The Huffington Post “‘Always treat people with kindness, and always treat people with compassion.'”

We are so touched by the actions of these wonderful kids and their A+ bus driver. Mitzelfeldt is absolutely right, it doesn’t take much to be compassionate, and it means so much to be on the receiving end of kindness, especially if you’re going through a difficult time. We’re so glad that “grandma” is back at the window where she belongs, and that the kids have learned a beautiful lesson about kindness from their amazing bus driver and their favorite local celebrity.


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(Images via Twitter)