Jack came home from school. His eyes were heavy, shoulders drooping. He had a look of troubled hopelessness. "I have something to tell you." My heart sank. What had he done? What could he have possibly done to be so serious, so focused, so sorry. Speeding ticket, car wreck, suspension from school? Got in a terrible fight and hurt someone. Bad.... What could it be? "I decided to call my dad on my lunch hour... you know? Just to say I miss him." He paused, swallowed long and hard.... it was then I could see him trying to hold back a flood of tears. Then he breathed a deep, long breath and continued," When he answered he said, "Who is this?" I said, "Dad, it's me... Jack." Who? "It's Jack. Jack, your son." But I don't have a son" He doesn't remember me. He doesn't know he even has a son.
I was aghast when he shared this with me the first time. Later that evening on one of the many phone calls we get from Bill every day, I asked him to help his baby boy. I explained that a dear dear friend Jack has known all his life has had a terrible accident and does not know Jack anymore. I explained Jack's sorrow, and asked if he could help. Bill responded to me in my favorite, supportive father tone, stating,"Tell Jack he can still be friends with this guy. Just remind him who you are. Just be his friend for who is is." Bill then talked to Jack to support him, not knowing he was helping Jack deal with the grief of losing Bill.