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  • One summer we had three foreign exchange students stay with us, one at a time. Two from Korea and one from Japan. This was a college summer program where the student came for a month and attended classes at the local university.

    Our first student was Bok Soon from Korea. Our son Eli was young and an only child since my step-daughter was grown and away. Eli came to love Bok Soon like a sister. She was sweet to him. The month came and went all too quickly and we had to take Bok Soon to the bus to go to the airport with the other students. All of the students laughed and pointed at our son saying he looked like Harry Potter. He didn't like that. I was proud how well he was doing saying goodbye to Bok Soon. I was teary eyed but he was strong.

    After dropping off Bok Soon we decided to stop at Great Clips to get our son a hair cut. At the end they gave him a red balloon. We walked out to the parking lot and as we were getting in the car he lost control of the balloon and it took off into the sky. He started crying and couldn't stop. I offered to get him another one. We stopped for ice cream and he kept crying. He was still crying when we got home. He was sobbing uncontrollably like he had lost his best friend.

    Like he had lost...his best friend... Suddenly it hit me! He wasn't really crying about the red balloon but about losing Bok Soon! There was no way his young mind could grasp the concept of loss as he hadn't experienced it. But when that balloon took off all his grief came out as he knew that balloon wasn't coming back. His Bok Soon was gone.
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