An Emotional Week

This past week was an emotional roller coaster for the Wallace family. We were just getting settled down after a great benefit for my new friend Taylor Radtke when this past Thursday our next door neighbor made the decision to take his own life. He was 17 years old.

I was attending the Johnsburg Lions meat raffle at C’s Pizzeria & Pub across the street from our house, when I saw an ambulance and police cars heading into our neighborhood. Moments later, my cell phone rang and my heart skipped a beat. It was Joanne. She had concern in her voice. She told me that they brought out a stretcher next door and someone was on it. My first thought was that someone had a heart attack or something. I was wrong.

Later on that evening I was still across the street when I was told that our teenage neighbor took his own life. I decided to wait until my children were asleep so I could go home and explain the situation to my wife. I felt that discussing this that night would not be the best choice. It would be better to explain it to them in the morning. We eventually told both boys. It was pretty hard for us to explain what had happened but we made it through. We left a note for the family in their mailbox letting them know that we were sorry for their loss and that if they needed anything to please let us know.

On Saturday, I spoke with one of the siblings and asked how she was doing. She said she was ok, but that she was afraid to go into her brother’s room because she was the one that found him. I felt so sad for her but she seemed pretty strong. She had said they were working on the funeral plans and things that go along with that. I told her that if her parents needed anything to please let us know. Later that afternoon her other brother and a cousin were fixing a spaceship out in the driveway that belonged to the deceased. I guess they were paying tribute to him in there own special way. I didn’t ask why they were doing it, I knew why.

Even for those of us with children, we can only imagine what this family is going through right now. Please take a quick moment to say a prayer for them today and give your children an extra strong hug.


  • Im so sorry bud! I cant explain enough how we need to all focus more on our children. This is happening more and more and more and it shouldnt be, there are answers to everything, there are solutions to everything and we all need to mold our children with a positive attitude. Life is so demanding for us as parents, more so than before, our economy has put so much pressure on adults which in turn carries to children. It is so easy to say that everything can be fixed, but for someone that is troubled and having a troubled time…those words dont even come into play in their thoughts. COMMUNICATION< COMMUNICATION is so key to all aspects of life, you can never communicate enough. It is so hard to be a child in this era for more ways than one, It is so scarey to see what is happening out there. Remember…take that extra second to hug, hold, kiss, listen and hear your children…even if it drives them nuts, it goes a long way. My prayers and thoughts go to your neighbors , I cant even imagine their pain. Stay positive as a community and they will gain from your strength!

    Comment by Sheryl Smith — March 8, 2010 @ 7:55 pm