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That’s the meaning of the name Avonte that I found, when I searched it this morning. People have been searching for Avonte for a while now. 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo, disappeared after casually walking out of his school last October. This poster has been plastered across New York City ever since:

Avonte = Powerful and complete.

Avonte = Powerful and complete.

I wasn’t planning on writing about Avonte today. I was going to write something uplifting, hopeful and inspirational. I don’t know that I can do that now, as reports are coming in that body parts have been found, and they may very well belong to Avonte Oquendo. There is nothing uplifting at that possibility, except that maybe now his family can find some peace, if the body does belong to Avonte. The only hopeful aspect is that it is not Avonte and they can go on hoping he is still alive somewhere. As far as inspiration goes, I am struggling. Avonte is autistic and doesn’t speak, yet there are many photos of him smiling. I can try and eke out some inspiration there. Avonte’s ability to walk out of his school without anyone really noticing is horrible, but maybe, just maybe, it will inspire others to make changes that will help prevent this from happening again. I have a 14-year-old son, he inspires me everyday to be a better person. My heart breaks for Avonte’s mother who hasn’t seen her son in almost four months. She hasn’t been able to kiss him goodnight, or gently wake him in the morning for school. I can’t imagine her pain because it’s just too painful to consider not having my son around to smile at me, to laugh at my silly jokes, to roll his eyes at me when I ask him to walk the dog. Too much pain. We wait now, and watch the news, and we go back and forth with praying it’s not him, but at the same time recognizing if it is Avonte, that the agony of not knowing where he is day in and day out will cease. If it is Avonte, he will be remembered, not just by his family, but by everyone who was touched by his disappearance and by everyone who stared at that innocent look on his face in the poster. That look with the name that means powerful and complete.

Stay well.