I wish I could sit down with you at this stage in your life…the year of this picture. If only I could be with you to teach you some important things about yourself. Soon, after Mom dies, you will leave Buffalo and move to Wisconsin with Grandma. It will be a good move, creating some of the happiest years of your childhood.
As I look back over those years, I realize you will wander through life not really being aware of who you are. Not the superficial “who you are”, but the deep-down-inside “who you are.” As far as I can remember, no one ever taught you how to live life to its full potential. I feel I’ve also failed in this area with your future children. I really believe, Suzie, that after all these many years, I’m only now learning "who we are."
I want to talk to you about an incident that will happen the day you begin the fifth grade. Unfortunately, you will not be able to respond to it in a positive manner. And, considering that I have it in my memory today, it will be something that you will carry with you for the rest of your life.
A boy, new to the school, will come to your classroom. His name is Harvey. Nice boy, son of the new minister in town. His father will leave him in the classroom and Harvey will run to the cloakroom window to watch him go. He will cry. Kids will laugh at him….but not you. You will hurt for him. That’s because you will know how he feels. You see, you experienced the same thing just the year before when Dad took you away to live in Milwaukee. But happily you returned to Grandma's house after that year was over.
Unfortunately, you will be too afraid to go to Harvey and try to comfort him. You will be too young to know how to do that…and much too shy. But it's okay. There are so many lessons to learn.
Harvey, I’m sorry I didn't help you that day.