.......was last Friday for my son. He asked me to call the school and have him excused for the day. I lightly told him something to the effect of, what would be the point of an excused absence for a Ditch Day.

Friday came and he told me his plans to attend first hour to take a test (colleagues who do this to manipulate students are reprehensible). Friday evening rolled around and as he came through the door I asked him about his day. He told me, he and his friends had gone to see Mikey Mack and then headed out to Sabino Canyon.

Mikey Mack loved school and all the things that are a part of it. He had fun with his teachers and was kind and loyal to his friends. He had a zest for life, a smile that would light up a room!

When he died suddenly in June of 1998, the kids were devastated. A glimpse of mortality rudely invaded their young lives. They asked uncomfortable questions about his death.
Summer was mowed down to a standstill.
They went to movies together and then out late to a burger joint to just talk, not about Mikey, but understandably, to have the reassurance of being together, to find some kind of sense out of his death. I shamefully lied to worried parents who called because they were out past curfew.
I told them they were on their way home and quickly placed a phone call to remind them their parents were expecting them home safe and sound.
I knew that in the back of their minds the parents too wondered if not for the Grace of God, it could have been their son/daughter.

Mikey's obituary bookmarks my Bible at Jeremiah 31:15. I think one day my son will want it.

It is poignant to know that Mikey will go on, in a sense to graduate with the Class of 2000.

The school called yesterday morning, inquired as to my son's absence on Friday. I told the Attendance Clerk, a fellow parent, about their Senior Ditch Day and we recalled a few things about Mikey, how his brother died a year later and wondered how their parents bore the pain of the loss of their life's work this Christmas.

I asked that my son be excused for the day.

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