Tonight I was going through my son's returned schoolwork and I came across a very sad story he wrote for a program he's in (he's in the gifted program, but oddly enough they give them work that is stuff they need improvement on -- so it's stuff he doesn't like much, like reading and writing).
In this short assignment he detailed how his grandfather, whom we called Poppy, died. The narrative was that Poppy fell down a flight of stairs, got a replacement shoulder, which made things worse, went to the hospital for a long time, then had a big wound then went back, then died. Basically, he's getting that health care failed Poppy -- which it did. Eric Barger's death was in part attributable to the work of a Dr. Mays (I believe that's the spelling of this quack). A "doctor" who never seemed to care that his patient was a potently addicted alcoholic. In fact, he cared so little for his patient he prescribed the very powerful pain medications which very likely had a direct hand in Eric's death. I know my son is wary of medicine to begin with (and granted, I'm a big wuss when it comes to these things as well, so there's some natural predisposition to these fears) because he had a rather painful childhood and one very scary procedure that had likely been burned into his subconscious (because he was awake the whole time).
Anyway, I read this narrative and got choked up. Here was my son coming to terms with mortality, and the most I'd ever heard from him was in this paper. Months later. My son had learned to suffer in silence -- dry skin, some kind of gastro issue (doctors still haven't figured out what), etc. He's been in pain for a lot of his short life, and I think it has given him some ability to be more patient than I ever was, although I see the familiar impatience with learning new things and wanting to be great at stuff quickly. Maybe that's human nature.
But to think that he felt this strongly... and to peek into his mind about how it went down, and how sad it was for him. That's really tough to deal with. Every time I look at this paper tears well up in my eyes. I sent it to his mom immediately when she asked, and I'm sure she cried. It's really hard to make me cry, but I get "teary" with relative ease. I made sure to hug the kids extra hard tonight. I'm going to miss them when they're too old to hug me so readily.
one man's journey into creating gibblybits