On April 2, 2008, just a week before he died, Leif was sending me text messages about a turtle he rescued from the street. He said it was about the size of a large dinner plate. He didn't send me a picture of it, but I imagined it to be a lot like the one we saw.
Tonight I re-read all our text messages to each other in 2008, in the beginning because I wanted to find the ones about the turtle, but then I was hooked from the beginning. What all did we "talk" about . . . everything from the presidential political campaigns (he was for Obama) to school shootings, from computers to work, from his new-found love interest to my mother's Medicare Part D account, from his interview to work at USAA to getting lost on the USF campus. There was no hint anywhere that he would be gone, that he would shoot himself.
Leif was always self-contained and not a complainer, but still, not a hint of anything wrong.
Seeing the turtle made me think of those text messages, and when I mentioned them to his father, Peter said, "He could save a turtle, but he couldn't save himself." I've thought that, too.
We saw him a couple of weeks later on Easter, March 23, 2008, but I foolishly didn't take any photos. Our family sometimes overdoes it taking pictures, and I try not to be obnoxious about it. Now, I wish I had taken some.
Thanks for saving that turtle, Leif. How I wish you had saved yourself, too!