On a trip home, while paying respects to family members interred at Evergreen Cemetery, my mother pointed out a gravestone in the distance and asked me if I knew the man. I did not.
Although Allen Schindler and I share the same first name, grew up in the same suburb of Chicago, attended high schools in the same district, AND in fact both have single mothers who share the same first name(!), we went to different schools and never knew each other.
I'd heard about his awful death on the news years beforehand yet I wasn't aware that we hailed from the same town. His death had been a national news story years earlier, yet I'd never gotten the local details, realized he was so close, could have possibly been a friend. And here he was. Sad.
In the cemetery that day my mother told me about a movie made about his mother's quest for justice, called "Any Mother's Son."
I was very moved by that, along with the things Allen and I had had in common. I felt moved to take a picture of his gravestone, to extend a friendly gesture I'd never had the chance to make. Eventually, I brought it here..