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My mother said that soon after Paul’s call there was a knock at the door. She did not say a word. She soon heard a voice call out “Western Union.” She remained silent. Finally she heard the elevator door close. My mother knew that they left.

I never got a chance to thank Paul. I knew him so well and I am sure to this day that he was forced to join the gang. Living in the Projects could be dangerous to one’s wellbeing. In those days, just walking on a gang’s “turf” could be fatal. I remember reading about Michael Farmer in the newspaper. Michael Farmer was a young boy who walked with crutches. One summer night he entered a park and was savagely stabbed to death by gang members. He was totally defenseless. The memory still haunts me.

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A few years passed and one day I saw Sonya R. in the supermarket. She told me that her sister Rosa had passed away. My blood ran cold. I asked about Paul and Sonya told me that he was so upset at losing his sister that he had to leave New York. He moved to either Boston or Philadelphia, I forget which. That family was supposed to stay well and happy. Each and every one of them deserved to have only good things happen to them. They were all so special to me and were such an important part of my formative years. I felt a terrible void. I heard Sonya ask if she could visit me and I told her that of course she could. But she never did, and I never saw her again.

There surely is One above watching over us, sending us the people we need to help us on life’s journey.

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