Child as Teacher

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“I just wanted to wish you a Happy Father’s Day since you are the closest thing to a father that I have.” My mentee, age 16. This simple note, sent via e-mail by Z (not his real name), punched me in the gut, unleashing simultaneous sorrow and gratitude. Sorrow that bad things happen to good people. Gratitude for the love and respect I feel for this amazing young gentleman and the sense that I may actually help his climb from desolation to success.