A Tragic Death by Drowning

Last night, I spent hours listening to the father of a boisterous girl of Persian heritage who died on Monday, May 1, 2006, drawning in the pool of the apartment complex where she lived.

She attended my oldest daughter's elementary school for one year before moving on to a different elementary school, and then middle school. I only saw her once, about 3 years ago, as she rushed to greet my daughter. I found her vivacious—full of zest and excitement that is life. The fleeting image of her greeting us will forever linger in my mind.

Her parents were very intelligent and hard working, her sisters loved her, and I know that her father will miss her dearly. "I did everything with her. She was my best friend," said one of her sisters to me. "God put her in our charge and god took her away," said the father. "I will hold on to the chain that connects me to the Most High."

Despite what the news reports might imply to some viewers, the girl did not die of parental negligence but complex causes, unfathomable and beyond description, related to a father's struggles to survive with great honor but little resources to speak of and the general lack of proper community resources. (Here is an NBC11 report.)

We're all wishing the family strength and continued wisdom as they go through this hardship.

If you have any way to help them with money or other means, please let me know.

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