Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Second Grader Loses His Dad

Yesterday, I hung out with Dylan and his fellow second graders during his morning math class.

A boy in Dylan's math class lost his dad last month.

"A boy in Dylan's math class lost his dad last month." Golly, that just reads like an innocuous little bit of news, doesn't it?

How about this? The little boy's dad fucking died. He died, suddenly, on Super Bowl day, and the little boy had to call 9-1-1 himself as his mom desperately tried to revive him. His dad won't be there to watch any more Little League games. He won't be there to see his son start high school, get his driver's license, or graduate from college.

One of my son's second grade classmates got up one morning to greet his dad. When he went to bed that night, his dad was no longer there to kiss him goodnight.

Yesterday in class, the boy mentioned aloud that his dad's birthday was coming up. The teacher, bless her, stopped teaching and just talked with him for several minutes. She told him that his dad's birthday would probably be hard on the whole family, and that he needed to help his mom through that day. There was no emotion evident on the boy's face, but there was a storm in his eyes. The face and the body were on autopilot, but the storm was gathering.

I had to duck out of the class. I leaned up against the wall, with tears leaking from my eyes. Then I stuffed my sorrow and my spiked phlegm of anger at life back down, and walked back inside to carry on with my big strong adult act.


Uncle E said...

I heard about this. My heart goes out to this brave little man and his family.
I cannot even fathom the sorrow they are going through. This kind of event is unfortunate, very sad and leaves me kind of speechless.

Great post, Hal.

debby said...

It IS a good post. I cried for the little guy.

You know, you can make a difference for this little boy. It won't erase the mark of his father's death, but it will make it easier. I hope that you choose to get involved in his life.

Anonymous said...

This is heartbreaking!

Death is never easy to deal with, but when a child has to work through it.... well, it just seems that much harder.


David said...

I can only hope that he has enough people like you in his world to keep him on track.

Annie said...

The teacher did the right thing. Thanks for sharing the story.

Bob Barbanes said...

Damn, Hal. Damn.

It seems so unbearably sad, doesn't it...a boy Dylan's age losing his father so suddenly like that? Don't make me think about that, it's too horrible and tragic. Yet I know *you* think about it all the time, given your line of work. And I also know that because of this you make sure you're a big part of Dylan's life and that he knows that he is loved.

Let us hope and pray that the other boy had a father who's just as loving and caring as you.