As the world mourns Neil Armstrong, the first astronaut to walk on the moon, an 11-year-old San Rafael boy has a special reason to miss him — and a message from the astronaut he will always treasure.
“Sometimes when I look up at the moon, I wonder if my mom and dad are watching me,” wrote Max Boddington in an award-winning essay after his mother died in 2005 and his father in 2008.
In closing his essay, Max wrote that his dream was to meet “the world’s Number One space hero.”
His adoptive mother sent the essay to Armstrong and just three weeks before his death, the astronaut, who commanded the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969, emailed her back:
“Thanks for sharing Max’s essay with me. It is very poignant and surprisingly erudite for an 11-year-old.”
“Tell Max that I also went to camp when I was his age. I learned a great deal from being with other boys about my age who came from different towns and had different backgrounds.”
“Tell Max I send him my very best wishes for good luck and success.”
Excerpt from Max’s essay:
“Sometimes when I look up at the moon, I wonder if my Mom and Dad are watching me. Grownups have told me many times since my parents died that they are angels looking down on me, and I believe them, I guess. So, I always wonder, especially when the moon is full and bright, ‘Can you see me, Mama? Are you looking, Daddy? Are you watching me?'”
“Space is a mystery, just like death. It can be dark and lonely, but it can be beautiful, too, if you know how to look at it.”
(WATCH the video below or READ the story in the Marin Independent Journal)