Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Faltering Steps

Today one of my grandson’s friends sat and listened as he and I chatted. I tried to pull him into the conversation once or twice, but he resisted as if he wasn’t much interested in our words. He even pulled the hood of his sweatshirt up over his head and buried himself into a cocoon of isolation. I like young men and understand that 16 isn’t the most pleasant of ages, so I left him to his own quiet world.

We were in the car. My grandson and I were in the front and his friend was in the back. Usually when this particular friend sits in the back seat of my car he lets my dog rest his head on his leg. Today he wasn’t even letting the dog get very close. He is a boy that has had a troubled life. Both of his parents are alive, but he has lived with his grandparents for the past year. He is trying, as best as he can, to bring order and peace back into his life, but every once in a while things seem more then his young psyche can handle. This boy often needed space. He did take the drink that was offered when we stopped at the doughnut shop, but he drank it in silence.

My grandson and I were discussing various philosophies. He has been searching for religious and or philosophical meaning to his existence and he often puts theories out for the two of us to discuss when we are in the car. His friend never ventured an opinion about the words that we were floating back and forth. I pulled to the curb to let them out at their destination and from deep inside the hood the boy said, “I’ve been listening and you are very smart about a lot of things. What can you tell me about brain tumors?”

“Why would you want to know about brain tumors,” I asked startled.

“My grandfather just found out that he has two brain tumors and they are going to operate on him. Do you think he has a chance to live? I don’t know if I can stand to be told that he has died.”

I gave him the best answers that I could, hoping that somehow I was able to calm the storm that was blowing all over his mind and heart. But God! ..... isn’t life sad some mornings?

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