Holding them close.

My first thought upon waking this morning was of our son. In my heart I was hugging him tight, though he’s three hours away at his university.

In the night, during one of several hours of wakefulness, I had looked at Facebook to pass the time. Scrolling through the posts, it took me a moment to process one in particular: a photo of a young man who was a classmate of our boy, captioned “RIP, November 16, 2015.”

Though there were many young friends who hung out at our house, came over for rehearsals, sat down with us for dinner, this was not a face I knew well. In fact, I only knew this young man by name, because our boy has mentioned him fairly often, even after he’s gone away to college. Right in the middle of a conversation: “Hold on, Jacob just texted me. I need to answer him.” A phone call in the car: “Oh, it’s Jacob. I have to pick up.” After supper: “I’ll be busy tonight – Jacob wants me to play <insert name of online game here> .”

Over time, I gathered that Jacob was somewhere on the ASD spectrum. That he really only left his house to go to school. That he was in a difficult place emotionally.

I don’t even know how The Boy knew this young man. I assume they had classes together in middle school, but according to reports, none in high school. Our son didn’t say much about Jacob. Just “He’s a good kid.” And “He kind of needs a friend.”

And now Jacob is gone. I don’t know any details, but I can guess.

I texted my boy the moment I woke up. He replied immediately. I ended with “Love you times a million.”

He’ll be home in a few days for Thanksgiving break. Until then I’ll be hugging him as tight as I can, every moment, in my heart.

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12 thoughts on “Holding them close.

  1. I am sorry for the loss of your son’s friend, but it certainly touched my heart that he made time for all types of friends. We all touch lives we don’t understand the impact of. Your post has reminded me that everybody needs a smile or a hug.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so right. Sadly, the kids in our high school community have learned that lesson WAY too many times. Since the years when our oldest was in high school, no fewer than eight of their classmates have died of suicide, car accident, illness, and even a brutal kidnap/rape/murder. The sad thing about this most recent death is that the young man wasn’t popular in any way, and our community isn’t rallying around his family the way it did around the others. Heartbreaking in so many ways.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How heartbreaking all around. I hope your son can find a way to focus his thoughts and memories on all the ways he helped to make Jacob’s life a little brighter, rather than on how sadly short it turned out to be.

    Sounds like your son was truly living out the commandment to love thy neighbor. Jesus never promised any specific result-just that it’s one of the most important things we can do-and at times like these, sometimes that is the only comfort we can have.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so sorry for the loss of your son’s friend. Reading this post really pulled at my heart. As a mother of a son with Autism, I’d like to say “thank you” to your son for befriending Jacob. So often they miss out on having friends because no one takes the time to understand them – as is the case with my son. Everyone needs a friend. Your son sounds like an amazing young man.

    Liked by 1 person

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