After a Summer of Grief, It’s Back to School in Uvalde

At home on the day before school started, Ms. Rubio pointed to an image of Lexi that was added to a family portrait taken after her death. It looks as if all eight of them — the parents, three boys and three girls — were captured at the same time, sharing a happy family moment at a state park. They had been saving up earlier this year to have a professional photo taken, but “we ran out of time,” Ms. Rubio said.

The Rubios joined other parents of the victims for a quiet gathering that evening at Uvalde Plaza, which has become a grieving sanctuary since the shooting. Some of the parents no longer had children to send to school, and the start of the new school year promised to be a difficult one. They formed a circle, held each other’s hands, and prayed.

The next day, the children in the Rubio household rose before 6:30 a.m. David, Jahleela and an older sister, Kalisa Barboza, 18, yawned and rubbed their eyes, slumping on the puffy couch in the living room. They perked up when Ms. Rubio’s husband, Felix, arrived with breakfast from McDonald’s.

Julian, the youngest, joined his siblings at the kitchen table and stared at his food. “Eat, Julian,” Ms. Rubio coaxed him at first, and then gave up. “If you are done, you are done,” she said. “Go upstairs and wash your hands.”

Julian did not move. “You want me to go with you?” his mother asked. The boy nodded, hugging a stuffed animal.

After 7 a.m., Ms. Rubio rallied her troops, and Kalisa assembled them for a photo — all wearing matching T-shirts with images of their missing sister.

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