Yesterday, as soon as he came into our flat from school, Javi, my four year old son, came to me. Clearly upset he told me ‘Mummy, Mr Holmes has died’.
Mr Holmes is his school principal. A man close to two meters tall and with a beautiful and always smily baby face, he is adored by pupils, parents and teachers. He is not a desk man, you can see him running up and down the school all day long, half the times with his guitar under his arm, to serenade children at any occassion. He comes out every day at the time children leave school to greet them good bye when they leave for home. Having around 1,000 pupils under his wing, he amazingly manages to be a very strong presence for every child.
‘Who told you that?’ I asked. ‘Ms Karen’, Javi said. ‘Ms Karen’ (Javi’s teacher) ‘said he was at home and felt sick and was taken to hospital. His heart was not working well and the doctors could not save him and he died.’
With so much detail, I was seriously concerned about Mr Holmes welbeing and run to my computer to access the school webpage. There was nothing in there. I decided to send an email to Ms Karen who should now be arriving home after having spent all her day dealing with four year olds. ‘Very sorry to bother you, Ms Karen, but Javi has just arrived saying you told him Mr Holmes has died? I hope he misunderstood. Thanks’
Two minutes later I got an email from Ms Karen. ‘No,no, sorry if I confused him’, she said, ‘we were talking about Mr Jason, the founder of the school and first principal, who passed away 25 years ago and whose life we will be celebrating this week.’
I went to Javi and told him. ‘You know, I spoke to Ms Karen. Mr Holmes is ok. The guy who died was Mr Jason, who died a long time ago. You never met him.’
‘That is good news’ – said Javi with a smile. ‘Indeed it is’ – I responded
When I put him in bed at night time he told me while I was kissing him ‘mummy, I hope you never get sick as Mr Jason’. ‘Don’t worry sweetie’ – I whispered - ‘I won’t’.