Two interesting things happened at work last night. One was nifty and heartwarming, and the other was incredibly sad.
First the good one.
Carrie and Robbie's favorite elementary school teacher came into the lab last night, nine months pregnant. We instantly recognized each other and had a chance to visit while I drew her blood. She's about to have her fourth (!!) child. She asked about the kids, and I had a chance to tell her that she had a huge impact on the kid's lives and their love of books and of learning.
I'll bet teachers need to hear that sometimes to offset all the times they feel like they're beating their heads against a wall.
Okay...here's the second. The bad one.
A kid from the local high school was struck by lightning and killed instantly at the high school stadium during a track meet.
This is awful on so many levels. First, he was, by all accounts, a good kid. Well liked, good student and good athlete. Second, several hundred other kids had to witness it, and they'll be stuck with that image in their heads forever. Third, he was so instantly cooked by the lightning that none of his organs were viable for donation.
But this is the worst part. The part I couldn't stop fretting over on the drive home. His parents were at work, living their normal lives, and didn't know that their lives were going to be destroyed. At some point, someone called them and said, "Your son is dead." Their healthy, beautiful, vibrant, Nintendo-playing, squabbling-with-his-sister, grumbling-about-chores son. Dead.
And a stadium-full of people and then a hospital-full of people knew about it before the parents did. That's the really awful part to me. That a thousand other people knew what they were going to be faced with before they did.
I'm not sure why that makes it worse for me.
I feel sick thinking about it.