Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 2, 2013/ 24 Tamuz, 5773

Heartfelt lesson as father looks for son

By Mitch Albom








http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One week ago, I got into a taxi. It was a hot and humid Sunday morning in Bristol, Conn. I was heading to the airport.

"How you doing?" I said, sliding in.

The man behind the wheel only nodded. He was foreign looking with balding black hair and heavy jowls.

We drove in silence for half a minute. Then, without turning around, he spoke.

"My son is missing. He fall into river. Nobody find him."

At first, I thought I misheard him.

"Your son fell into a river?"

"Yes. They no find him. I look for him today, after I take you."

"I'm ... so sorry," I said. "What happened?"

"He go tubing. Six people with him. All them get out, but they no find my son. Police, nothing. The water very fast. Big wind. Everybody roll like five, six time in the tube, one there, one there. They get out. Only my son no."

He shook his head.

"Today, maybe I get a boat."

There are moments when a conversation leaves you utterly without reply. Here was a tragic story. Totally unexpected. And I could not comprehend how a man whose son was missing in a river had managed to come to work at all.

But I could tell that Shah Alam, an immigrant from Bangladesh, who said he was a father of six kids -- one of whom was either dead or alive -- wanted to talk.

So I listened.

He spoke about his son, Nasir, "a good kid," 25 years old, who "have a good job" and who spent several years in college studying to be a medical technician. He still lived at home with his father, stepmother and siblings.

"He just buy a new car," Shah said.

The previous Tuesday, Nasir had gone with friends to ride tubes down the rain-swollen Farmington River. They had barely gotten into the water before realizing it was too high and too rough. The others bailed out, grabbing onto tree branches or rocks.

Nasir was, according to his father, out of his tube and being drawn down by the fast current. One of the group grabbed onto him, "but the water too strong," Shah said, "he let go."

Since then, no one had seen him.

The taxi rolled on, heading north on I-84. Shah Alam sighed. He talked about his frustration with the police. It had been five days. Rather than sit and do nothing, he had spent Saturday walking miles along the river banks, hoping to find Nasir, perhaps lost or hurt, but alive.

"I gonna go look today in the woods area," he said. "Who knows? Maybe he hiding in the woods and he passed out."

Shah said in his gut he knew his son was alive. That a father just knows when that's true.

"If I find somebody who have a boat, maybe I can see better," he said.

How many times, in the course of a day, do we encounter people with whom we exchange a few words? Behind a counter? On a bus? Maybe they look sour. Maybe they seem cross. How often do we consider they might be carrying the heaviest of burdens?

Shah Alam said his son couldn't swim. He said he didn't know why he got in such dangerous water at 4 p.m. in the afternoon. He said he was only driving the cab today because "somebody has to work (in the family). If I go down, what happens to them?"

He looked out the windshield. "I have house, have good life, I don't know what happen, why it happen like this?"

We reached the airport. I got out. I took his information. He thanked me and shook my hand.


RECEIVE LIBERTY LOVING COLUMNISTS IN YOUR INBOX … FOR FREE!

Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.

Once inside, I immediately checked the Internet to verify his story. I read multiple news reports from Connecticut newspapers and TV stations. It was all true. Nasir Alam. Missing. Searches yield nothing. I looked out the airport windows, but the taxi was long gone.

In a better world, I end this column the son's recovery. But this is not always a better world. Less than 48 hours after our ride together, Nasir's body was found floating in the river, by a park, four miles from where he was last seen.

One week ago, I got in a taxi. Today, I will encounter someone else. We rarely know what sadness people drag with them to work. If we did, we'd probably be nicer to one another.




Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.



Comment on Mitch's column by clicking here.



Mitch's Archives


© 2013, THE DETROIT FREE PRESS DISTRIBUTED BY TMS, INC.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast