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Calvin Luther Martin, PhD
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When I was 40 and a university professor, my best friend (believe it or not) was an 11-year-old boy.  My son Forrest.  Earlier this week, 11-year-old Nick Benardot was smashed by a motorist as Nick was on his way home from school.  (As far as I know, he’s alive — in a medically-induced coma, with massive brain damage.)

When I heard the news, I responded as a father — the father of a once-upon-a-time boy named Forrest.   (That’s him in the top photo.)

The thought of young Forrest being mangled by a vehicle — I know of no words for this.  Just blackness.
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I have experienced this blackness through other means.  (I knew an Eskimo in Alaska who told me that when his wife was killed, his mind turned to “air,” as he put it.  “For days,” he spoke barely above a whisper, “I had no thoughts.  Just air.”  He slowly waved his hand before his face.)

In my journey through darkness I waited, waiting for something to take me by the hand.  I had no assurances such a “guide” or “savior” would appear; I merely hoped for it.  I knew I could not walk myself back into life.

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