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Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Dec 1, 2007 08:15PM)
My 8 year old and youngest son Joshua David, when first born, was a code blue...immediate emergency surgery on both kidneys. He had several more minor operations over the course of his first year of life. His kidneys were so swollen that his lungs could not develope enough for him to breath on his own when he was born, major trouble.

He only came home twice for a couple weeks, the rest of the time he lived in Springfield Ma at Bay State Medical, my wife and I would take turns staying with him, one of us was always with him and mind you we had five other kids, one of which a young teenager. We lost our jobs, apartment and went into heavy debt.

As a result of his first year being so tough on him he had a hard time developing in numerous ways, social skills, walking , talking, you name it. As it is he has one kidney which functions at 60% and the other kidney functions at 10%, eventually he may lose that kidney.

By the age of four my son Joshua was still socially inept and refused to play with other kids of any age other than his brothers and sisters. Joshua would want to go to the playground but if there were other kids there he wouldn't want to stay and if we stayed he never really had any fun, sitting off to the side. Loud noises were also and still are very hard on him.

We eventually moved to an apartment complex that had so many kids of different ages it would give you a headache...no really and it would hurt.

Joshua was four years old and I was his best friend, we did everything together while all the other kids were in school, we'd hit the empty playgrounds, play at the river in the sand and throw lots of rocks.

And then it happened, a little boy a year older than my son had moved into the neighborhood across the street from us, his name is Eric David, my wife had mentioned to his mother that she had a boy about the same age and maybe they would get along. The two of them met...

and have been the Best of Friends since, this was four years ago. This boy across the street helped in many ways in breaking my son from his shell, within a year my son was enteracting with other kids and finally acting like a kid himself. This made me and his mother happy beyond words.

Eris and Joshua have been lucky enough to spend many happy times with each other as we have treated Eric like a son and take him everywhere with us, lakes , movies, fairs...magic shows.

For the past few months there has been change, Eric had informed us his family were making plans to move to Conneticut, about four hours away. Joshua has been very sad about this and dare I say even depressed, his work in school has steadily failed to the point of parent teacher confrences, happy stars and whatnot.

Today is the day Eric is moving, it's been a bittersweet day to say the least, occasional tears from both Joshua and Eric and loads of personal favorite toys given to each other.

At one point while Eric was on our computer Joshua stared out the side window and watched the moving van get loaded with the last of the boxes, he watched the door to the truck shut and lock.

Through painful sobs he said to Eric, "The trucks all loaded, please don't leave!"

Then I lost it.

And had to hide upstairs.

I've spent the day video taping them and some of the things they always liked to do, playing at the YMCA, outside in the snow, playing video games, eating. Us three would always go on hikes in the woods hunting bigfoot in the spring and summer time, wish I had taped some of it.

I'm watching Eric right now as his family is in another state unloading the moving vans, hopefully he'll get to spend one more night here with Joshua, if not more tears will ensue later tonight.

My heart is breaking as much as my sons and Erics.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Dec 1, 2007 08:26PM)
That is tough... just make sure they can keep in touch, at least today with email etc it is easy. Maybe they can get those camera things for the computers and do supervised video visits and show things they found in the area.

I moved every two years growing up and I have never had strong bonds with anyone except one guy who was my best friend for 20 years (we met in Georgia and worked together in California). He died of cancer a few years ago and I miss him every day. Your kid will find new friends because you won't let him hide away from the world. Good luck to you all.
Message: Posted by: michaelmystic2003 (Dec 1, 2007 09:52PM)
My Johnnymystic, that is awful. What a touching story. I hope it works out for your son, I truly do.
Message: Posted by: Professor Piper (Dec 2, 2007 12:38AM)
I'm feeling you and your son's pain through your post Johnny...

You sound like a FANTASTIC Dad, one that any kid would be proud and lucky to have...

I'm at a loss for words as to how you should attempt to deal with this (which is saying something my wife tells me...It seems I'm never at a loss for words.)...

My best advice to you would be to keep doing what you did before that wonderful Eric entered you and Josh's lives...Be his best friend, continue the 'Bigfoot hunts' (I LOVED this by the way!)...

While E-Mail and video chats could help, it's hard for the youngins to really get anything emotionally charging from that media, sad, but true....

Perhaps, since Eric isn't TOO far away, you could work out series of visits throughout the year? Build them up as something to really look forward to...It often eases the pain of the time in between if Josh knows that in X number of days he and Eric will get to have some time together...

Just an idea.

I write all of this from the perspective of a 37 year old man who went through similar circumstances (without the benefit of such a great friend like Eric, though)...I had a brain tumor that went undiagnosed until I was a late teenager...It was in my pituitary gland and it caused me a LOT of trouble...I didn't mature normally as my peers did and it caused riffs in my development...

Finding friends was difficult, at best.

Although I don't know Josh's pain in his sense, I can empathize with him and I am VERY happy to know that he has a DAD like you that recognizes his struggle and is working as hard as you are to make things 'normal' for him.

God Bless you Johnny...You and your family are in my prayers.

Feel free to PM me if you wish....I'd love to help in any way I can.

Prof. Piper
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Dec 2, 2007 05:13AM)
Johnny, I just about lost it myself reading your post. Like Santa, I moved around quite a bit during some critical years of my childhood, and it reminds me of some pretty heartbreaking moves I had to make.

But I'm getting older and more sentimental, and now I cherish the time I had with friends rather than mourning their loss.

Human beings are pretty tough, when you think about it. You will all survive. As long as the tears can still flow, you're surviving well enough. It's when you stop crying that the real damage has been done.

Thanks for telling us that story. I really appreciate it.

Message: Posted by: The Drake (Dec 2, 2007 06:43AM)
Hello Johnny,

Your story touched me also. It was very well told and any of us who ever went through something similar are feeling for you.

Now with that said... can I give you a little common sense kick in the butt?

With what you mentioned in the beginning of your story you and your family have been through WAY worse than this. You got through that by getting your hands right into the problem, dealing with it and not giving up. Why give up on this one? Be that rock you were in the beginning of your story and do something about this. Your son will eventually find another friend but until then why does he have to loose this one ?

Christmas is coming. These days high quality webcams are very cheap. Why not get a pair of them and in no time these guys can be sitting face to face while really being 4 hrs away. Josh will have lots of local kid gossip to share with Eric while Eric will have lots of experiences from his new home to share with Josh.

I can see Josh hurrying home from School for his daily video chat with Eric. It'll give them both something to look forward to and would be therapeutic as well. It would also help fill that void until newer friends are found. Josh is going to need something to keep up his spirits. If he is sinking into a depression its going to be harder for him to meet new friends. If he is given the change to stay in contact with Eric his spirits will remain up and eventually he'll also find newer friends.

Hope I haven't overstepped any bounds here but shake off those blues, pull that chin up and get down to your local Best Buy or computer store and get those cams. There are a couple of kids counting on someone to make things better and you're just the man to do it. You've done it before haven't you?

I can't advise on which model is best. ( maybe others can) I'm a Mac user and am only familiar with the Apple Isight camera.

Good Luck,

Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Dec 2, 2007 11:53AM)
Thanks guys
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Dec 2, 2007 02:31PM)
A difficult story to read. It must be much harder to tell, let alone live.

The computer and phone are great ways to ease the separation, but they will not replace playing together.

It certainly appears that Joshua is much the better young man for his friendship with Eric. This is something that will stay with him forever. It won't be easy to find a new friend, but he will. He has learned what it means to have a dear friend, and what it means to be one. He has something that many never get. Time and experience are on his side.

All the best to Joshua, to Eric and to your families.

Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Dec 2, 2007 08:25PM)
As a dad, I understand your feelinghs, I'd feel the same way. But also as a dad, try to remember that our young 'uns need life experience, including adversity, to make them strong.
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Dec 4, 2007 02:01AM)
I'm making a video for these two BEST FRIENDS, the song I'm using...

I'll be seeing you in all the old familiar places
That this heart of mine embraces all day through
In that small café, the park across the way
The children's carousel, the chestnut trees, the wishing well
I'll be seeing you in every lovely summer's day
In everything that's light and gay
I'll always think of you that way
I'll find you in the morning' sun
And when the night is new
I'll be looking at the moon
But I'll be seeing you
I'll find you in the morning sun
And when the night is new
I'll be looking at the moon
But I'll be seeing you