It has been such a wonderful experience getting to know Luke Murphy and his family. Luke is an incredible eight-year-old boy with such a warm heart. After spending some time at the Murphy’s home, I learned a great story about Luke. Apparently, from the time that he was about three years old, he insisted that his parents take him on what came to be known as “Water Walks.” He especially loved going on Water Walks after a storm. Luke would walk around the blocks that make up Trinity Park and run over to each drain. He would take a water bottle, which he always filled up before the walk, and poor a little bit of water down the drain right before running down the street to the next drain and sticking his nose against the grates. Stacy told me that she never understood what exactly Luke was doing, and at times became annoyed with these hour long Water Walks, but knew that for whatever reason, they made Luke incredibly happy. It wasn’t until about three years later that Luke and Stacy were driving in the car one day when Luke started describing the entire drainage system of Trinity Park. Stacy described this moment to me with such excitement for it was in that moment that she gained such a sense of clarity as to how her son’s mind works. These Water Walks were not silly, and they were not pointless—instead they were Luke’s way of collecting data, allowing him to determine directionality of the flow as he poured water into each drain before sprinting to the next.
It is nearly impossible to spend time with Luke without learning of his immense knowledge of drains, pipes, and electrics. At only eight years old, he has his own doorbell wiring business, and will tell you without hesitation that he is going to be a civil engineer. Though school is not Luke’s favorite place, it is so evident that Ms. Crawford and everyone else at Watts care about Luke deeply and is very invested in his success. The past year or so has been very hard for the Murphys, but you would never know it unless they told you. It has been such a remarkable experience to document not only Luke, but also his whole family, and watch as a community really came together to support the Murphys after their loss.