How I Found Peace Through A Note From a Third Grader.

Firefly verse

As I have written before, we lost our son in a very sad car accident in October, 2004. To say that it was totally heartbreaking is an underestimate. I knew that we needed to get back to our regular routine as soon as possible. So…we found our strength and found our way back to our familiar life. We focused on our careers, our friends and our daughter who was then a college student.



Crowfoot, a chief of the Siksika First Nation.


I loved teaching school and found incredible joy in getting to know the children and their families. I knew that I would feel much better when I saw those smiling children. And I did! My elementary school at the time was like a “windows on the world”…so many cultures and so many languages. There were many Vietnamese families in the area surrounding the school…wonderful families with a clear focus on giving their children the chance for a bright future through education.  The year that we lost our son was my first year to teach third grade… after teaching Kindergarten for several years.


Fireflies near mountains

Fireflies streaking through a gorge near the foothills.


Little did I realize how a child in my Third Grade class would give me the hope that comes from understanding the meaning of loss. One of my students had moved from Vietnam just three short weeks before school started. She only knew a few words of English… “hello, goodbye, friend, thank you”. Eager to learn and always kind, she smiled continuously and listened to every word that was uttered in class. She was paired with two older students for thirty minutes or so a day for English tutoring. I learned that peer assistance in any language development is the real key.


Walking with fireflies

Walking among the fireflies.

By Christmas, the young child was virtually fluent in English…a miracle to me and a testament to her work ethic. On the state test in the Spring, her score on the reading part was one of the highest of all the students. During that time, she started reading many types of poetry and enjoyed looking up special topics in the library.



Fireflies in Japan

A garden of fireflies.


One sunny Spring day, she quietly placed a paper on my desk during morning announcements. It was a poem that she evidently found in the library. She had added an illustration with her handwriting. As she walked away from my desk, she said…


“Mrs. Davis, I know that you must be still sad about your son. I think that these words will help you!”

To the very smart and very perceptive little girl from Vietnam…now a grown up young woman…”The words you found are still giving me happiness and peace today. Thank you!”


The paper that my young student from Vietnam gave me that sunny Spring day…



Poem from student





15 thoughts on “How I Found Peace Through A Note From a Third Grader.

  1. Beautiful! That perceptive girls’ response and yours to her.
    Another reminder that when people cross paths, its not entirely a coincidence.
    Your sons memory is a cherished one and love for him has grown multi-fold through multi-household.
    Children like her are passing it on to the next generation…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I know I seem to write about him quite a bit, but I feel like there are so many people who have walked our path. I hope that my thoughts may give someone else the ability to find joy again! The child was such a treasure and I imagine that she is the same treasure as a 22 year old!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I see no problem there! He is your son, was your son, will remain your son, wherever he is. And I’m sure he is at peace, coming from such a loving home.
        Sure! You must follow your hearts desire. Sometimes, it helps people, even if they dont drop a like or comment, and thats their desire!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Pat, no one will ever get over with the loss of a son. (We had a women’s Bible study on Monday. The person who shared also shared 16 permissions for Christmas.) I want to say, give yourself the permission to feel and to say and to be sad and to cry, even in Christmas. Christmas is to remember the birth of Christ who came to die. So it wasn’t a party time.
    I’m glad your student did so well and she was so thoughtful about your son.
    Hope you’re doing well! Are you fully recovered from your stroke?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Miriam! So sorry that I have not been posting for a little over a month. My desktop computer began having problems and we took it to the repair shop. One day later or so.. my laptop (just over a year old) stopped being able to keep a charge! Now I have a new desktop and the laptop is fixed. I took this as a sign that I needed to begin to concentrate more on my physical therapy for a while! I am still having problems with balance and my right leg, but am starting to get better and better! Thank you for asking!

      Our daughter and son-in-law’s baby was due 12/2!! So we are still waiting! He doctor said that the baby is very healthy and happy “hanging out” where he is right now! If he doesn’t arrive by Monday afternoon, the doctor said that she would induce labor at that time! We are thinking that he might arrive tomorrow…maybe I should say…”we are hoping he arrives tomorrow!!!! Can’t wait!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • For many months, I posted 2 or 3 times a day and couldn’t get off the schedule. I took November off. Just came back 10 days ago and post about 3 a week and don’t feel any pressure.
        Yes, I want to blog for fun, not feel obligated.
        You physical therapy is important before any nerve or tissue became irreversible. I’m still rubbing my leg that has lymph edema. I see people having chronic swelling and don’t do anything about that, but I try to keep the problem getting to be permanent.
        My daughter was 9 days overdue, tried induction, and ended up having c-section because the cord wrapped around the baby’s neck.
        The baby was born health. Almost 3 months old. You can see her.


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