I almost had three very good days in a row.  And then my daughter called me. Some good news.  My son in law’s latest job interview went well, and we are hoping an offer will come from it.  Her voice became lower and slower. “I have some terrible news.”  I braced myself.  “Do you remember the family that lived behind us in our old house?”  She mentioned the name of the couple, but it was long ago. I felt relief.  This was not about our family. Gracie, their little girl, my granddaughter’s first playmate.  She used to come to the back door to see if Maddie could play in the sandbox.  I don’t know why…but I pictured a little freckle faced strawberry blond in a summer frock. “She died yesterday. She killed herself.”

The same age as Maddie, a high school senior.  They did not know each other well in the growing up years, after my family moved to another neighborhood.  Gracie, a beautiful name.  I am devastated by this news. What happened to this child?  I do not want to know the details.  How did we fail her?  It takes a village, doesn’t it? Families, schools, churches all of us.  I wish I could hug the little freckle face girl with the beautiful name.  My daughter lives in a suburban community 900 miles from me, but I feel the ripple effect of Gracie.  Right now thousands of people are in a tidal wave of grief.  And I pray that Gracie is in God’s arms.




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