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Red Balloon This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By Jocelyn W., Brooklyn, NY

     I was touched by John’s fiction piece about a boy remembering losing his father.

I lost my father two years ago. There is not one moment when I don’t think about him and all the great times we had. Returning to school after losing my father over the summer was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I wasn’t even sure if everyone knew. I, too, sat there in class trying to pay attention to the teacher, but I couldn’t stop thinking about Dad. I just tried to hold it together. I knew that was what my father would want.

I thought it was such a good idea for the mother in the story to suggest that the boy write a letter, attach it to a helium balloon, and send it to his dad in heaven. I wish I had thought of that, but now that I’m a teenager, I know it won’t really get to him. Nonetheless, I still visit his grave to tell him how school’s going and what’s happening in our lives. There is not one day when I don’t think of how my life would be if he were still here.

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