Last year, I had a substitute teacher in one of my classes. He was an older man, retired, and he came in every once and again. He was a quirky little guy, very sweet, and he always told cheesy jokes.
One day, he came in to sub and he looked older than before, and he didn’t make jokes. He broke down halfway through class and told us that he had been raising his grandson since he was a newborn and that, just that month, the boy’s mother had decided that she wanted him back. Everyone shifted in their seats and watched this grown man cry. Nobody knew what to do and they were all relieved when the bell rang. I waited until they were all gone and I went to him. I had no idea what to say or do, but I told him that he could talk to me even if I was just a kid. He thanked me and told me about how he was thankful to have his wife help him through this.
Today, I saw his picture in the local paper. He’s in jail for threatening to kill his wife’s divorce attorney and the judge. He called the police and turned himself in, saying that he’d planned to use the .45 in his trunk to kill them both and then himself. When the police found his car, there was a gun and a 20 page letter. In it, he said “when a man has nothing left, he has nothing left. What do I have to lose that they haven’t taken from me?”
When they asked him why he decided to turn himself in, he told them that he didn’t want his grandson to be disappointed in him.