Too close to home...Our loss of Allen Fleming
I got a call Saturday evening from a friend. Her husband is a local baseball coach for the American Legion and got word that one of his Alumni students little brother was killed in an auto accident that morning. She wanted to know if Chris knew anything. He didn't. As the news trickled in it also got worse. Not just one but two teenage boys dead. One from Pleasant Valley High School and one from rival Chico High in the car. I dropped Wyatt off this morning thinking that someday it could be Wyatt or Jackson... It scared me to death. I was sad for their friends and family, Tom and for Jenni and everyone who even knew of the boys. Then my mom called at 1pm. She asked me how Wyatt was. I didn't know what she was talking about. Allen, the student aid that came to Lori Chergosky's every day to work and play with the kids was the second teenager killed in that crash. Here is the website so you can see the love that has poured out for these boys.
Wyatt thought that Allen walked on water. He was even there for Back to School night so he could meet the parents with Lori. He played tag and taught them math. He helped them read and gave them High 5's. He loved them and they loved him. One night we were eating at a local italian restaurant when Wyatt said he saw his friend. I didn't know what he was talking about since everyone at the table was a teenager. Allen got up and came to introduce himself. He talked to Wyatt just like a friend... Like there wasn't 11 years of age and life between them. Allen was Wyatt's hero and the hero of everyone he met. He was also an Upward Basketball coach for not just one but for 2 teams. He was amazing and will be so missed. He touched me. He was an inspiration and I am thankful I got to meet someone who was so short but profound in Wyatt's life, I wish it had been longer but understand that he was needed more someone else.
Wyatt asked if he could go to the funeral and I had to tell him that I didn't think that was a good idea. But there will be a candle light vigil Saturday night at the crash site. We will leave Jackson with a sitter and go. Its not something I am not looking forward to but feel that must be done. Wyatt is taking it so well, better than me. He said that Allen now is not just with him for the hour during class every day, but with him all the time now. He can feel Allen there, next to him helping him write the letter about how much he loved Allen and what "a great kid Allen is." I'm so proud of Wyatt for looking beyond what happened Saturday but then again he has always been very spiritual and accepting of life and death. He is always talking about those who are around us, Grandma and Poppy, Jesus, My uncle James and now Allen.