Kaleb Klakulak was the new boy in the town when he started second grade in Warren, Michigan. Kaleb was a shy boy who doesn’t make friends easily and his parents were just di-vorced. Later, he met K.J Gross. Both the boy’s preferences were just the same and they started getting along easily.
Kaleb said, “it was fun because he liked what I liked.” Both Kaleb and K.J Gross were sweet-natured kids and they started hanging out together every time. LaSondra Singleton, K.J.’s mom said, “the boys were like two of a kind.” Days passed and the boys had a powerful attachment towards each other.
But, one day when K.J. leave this world due to congestive heart fa-ilure after struggling with leukemia for a long time, poor Kaleb was wrecked. And, when Kaleb who is now 12, learned that K.J’s mother couldn’t afford a singleton for his friend’s, he decided to help. Kristy Hall, Kaleb’s mom recalls, “K.J.’s entry into our life was wondrous. He brought all this exhilaration.” “Both the boys would sit and play video games together without any noise, they wouldn’t even talk,” Hall said.
“I think they liked one another because they ‘got’ one another. “They enjoy just being themselves and being together, without the need to impress the other one.” Soon the boys’ mother’s also bonded together.
Kaleb didn’t bother his best friend has limitations, he always stood by his friend. When K.J was a baby he was diagnosed with Le-ukemia and from there he had gone through several sur-geries. So, he couldn’t go out sometimes due to allergies. Kaleb and K.J have spent weeks together in the hospital, during K.J.’s treatment. LaSondra Singleton said, “When K.J couldn’t go out, Kaleb would come to our house and they would play together. The boys were inseparable from the beginning to the end of their relationship.”
However, K.J’s s condition worsened the last December. He had to go through congestive heart fa-ilure and finally ended up in the hospital where the doctors arranged a transplant. “Once a week I would bring Kaleb to the hospital to play games,” Hall said. “Even the hospital has bent few of their rules for he boys to spend time together.” And after a few months, Singleton gave the bad news to Kaleb and Hall, that K.J is about to leave the world. Then it was in May, Kaleb bid goodbye to his best friend.
Singleton was de-vastated when her son left her. The woman was also dealing with some financial issues as she has quit her cafeteria job earlier to stay by K.J’s side. She b*ried her son in a family plot, but she could not get a head stone. In the meantime, she was also dealing with her mother’s beginning stage of Alzheimer’s. Kaleb learned about this and was determined to help his late friend’s mom.
“Slowly Kaleb began to ask things like, “how much does a head stone cost, Mom?” Hall recalled.
Kaleb started doing different pieces of work to earn money. He used to collect lots of soda bottles and his mom also helped him, by sending a notice to their neighbors to save their bottles. Hall drove Kaleb all over the place to get the bottles and exchanged them at the grocery shops for recycling deposits. Last week Hall also created a PayPal account requesting donations for the name stone. The goal was marked at $2,500. When she arrived they handed over $900 for the head stone.
Singleton said to CNN, “it was unexpected and I started crying.
I cried because I’m trying to sort out things from day to day. I can visualize my son’s final resting place. I have a place where I can go and be with him.” She also stated, “How beautiful and how genuine K.J.’s heart was” because he made friends like Kaleb. “It is a bittersweet thing for me as it’s making everything final for me.” She said It was a week ago and donations are still pouring, so far a total of $2,500 has been received. Hall and Kaleb will hand over the money to Singleton, they hope it will be of some help.
In the meantime, Kaleb is having a hard time without his best friend. “He has not made a new friend since,” Hall said. “It’s tough for him because he is sc-ared. He cannot bear to lose someone else too.” Singleton hopes that the boy’s story would heal some of the divisiveness. She said, “right now there are so much of hatred and division, I wish that this story would help people acknowledge that all races can get along and we do love each other.”