“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.”
— Seneca, Roman philsopher
A few weeks ago I wrote about a brave young man who we’ve been taking to school.
Shortly after we started commuting together he showed up on a Monday morning as usual. The ride was routine and the kids chatted about all the strange and wonderful things kids talk about.
He didn’t show up the next day. I texted him and he responded that he wasn’t feeling well. ‘No problem. Hope your feeling better.’ I texted back. As a double check, I sent a note to his father. A few hours later he called me at work.
“His mother died on Sunday,” his father told me.
I hung my head as I listened. I knew his mother’s conditional was terminal, but that didn’t alleviate the shock of hearing the news. There wasn’t much I could say. I offered my condolences. Later that day I wrote out a sympathy card. The words were coldly real.
In the intervening weeks, we’ve continued to ride to school together.
Some mornings, I ask him how he feels about his loss but he rarely says much. Other mornings, I sense that he just wants to be listened to. I’m happy to hear his stories. He has a creative imagination.
Every morning, the brave young man has a smile on his face although, on occasion, it looks forced. Maybe that’s just my imagination.
I don’t know what else to do other than continue to be there. If he ever wants to talk, I hope he knows I’ll listen.
I’ve got time to give.
Gave several special kids rides to school today.