Feelings of guilt, remorse and purpose charged my psyche as I sang “Happy Birthday” to his son and watched his daughter play. It was blatantly clear that one man was absent that day, the very man that counts most in a little boy’s life.

The word “Daddy” was never spoken. The sadness, ignored. This was a day dedicated to the birthday boy. A day filled with fun and friends, with worries vanquished and nightmares expelled.

I saw “Daddy” that day. I watched as he stared. I smiled as he blinked in response. The room was silent, the air, heavy.

For him, walking is a memory of the past. The same for smiling and speaking. Moving, eating and breathing are distant and unattainable. “A coma,” the doctors explained.

All can vanish in a second – everything one knows and loves. Desires and dreams become unreachable as life walks the border with death and all one can inquire is “Why?”

Why is Daddy lying in a hospital instead of enjoying his son’s 7th birthday celebration?

Why is Mommy alone? Why is Bubbe crying?

Why is the world crashing down for this family?

Brick by brick I can help rebuild the destruction.

A brick with a smile, a brick with a listening ear. A brick with a kind word, a brick with a helpful hand. And a brick with everlasting friendship.

In this way, I can repair the broken hearts and desolate souls.

When I walk, I walk for Daddy. When I eat, I fill the emptiness. When I laugh, I bring happiness to the world on his behalf. When I speak, I spread his message. We are all interconnected. We all share the responsibility.

We are all OneFamily Together.

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