Small, transient gesture means much to this father

It’s the simplest of tributes on the bench that memorializes my 7-year-old son, Nicholas, on the Mt. Lukens fire road. But it is also one of the most moving.

Someone had just picked up some branches of wild sage and stuck them into the spaces between the back of the bench and the uprights: no tape, no glue, no wire, just a spontaneous thank you to a little boy who was shot in a botched carjacking and whose organs and corneas transformed the lives of seven very sick people.

The gesture will have no lasting effect. I came across it on Monday morning. By the time you read this the branches will almost certainly have blown away. But it is a reminder that in an intolerant world the people we pass in the street have the same generous feelings that we pride in ourselves.

Reg Green lives in La Cañada Flintridge. (

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