Family and fatherhood, lost and found

I won't forget the compassion and gentleness in my English teacher's eyes that day, my first day back in school. My dad had died in a traffic accident, and I felt a little more different than usual among my fellow high-school juniors. I felt as if I no longer had a complete family. And Mr. Butts gave me a fatherly presence. It was all I needed at the moment. Thank you, John Butts.

My mom and my two brothers and I coped with the change as well as any family could. Our faith, and the quiet support of church friends, helped a lot. Mom took over Dad's small business and surprised some people with her tenacity and strength. My brothers and I went on with our education. But there still was a void that was more questions than ache.

July 14, 2003

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