“Have you heard from Caroline?”
No I hadn’t.
And I wondered why someone was asking.
And she wasn’t there. She wasn’t at UCLA. She was not. But, I forgot that in the moment.
I found out. A shooter. A campus in lockdown.
But, she wasn’t there.
The shooter was, but she wasn’t. She was in our town, at a doctor’s appointment.
She was talking to her friends, from her phone, they were in buildings on campus on lockdown. She was worried that they would step into harm’s way.
She was trying to tell them how to be safe. She was trying to give them information.
A colleague said: This didn’t affect her.
Yes it did.
It touched her spirit. She worried. She panicked. She thought that perhaps she had sent a friend into a bullet’s path. By a simple word of advice. Stay put.
This is so sad.
It is sad for the young professor, living his dream, with a wife and a family and a life. A career. How sad for the children whose dad is now dead, not able to father them anymore.
It is sad for the young man who shot him. Who loved him and worried about him?
What teacher knew him and thought, hmmmm, he is in need of some help.
How can we help him?
How could he get so lost?
How sad for the innocence lost.
Innocence. What the hell is that? Who is innocent anymore?
I am not naive. I know my daughter cannot be spared that lesson. But I will admit, as much as I knew in my heart that she was okay…. and I pray that my radar is always accurate… handy that… as much as I knew that, I also hoped that her days as a young person who believed that the world would offer her a fair shake… would last a little longer. Not her belief anymore.
I wish I could write some grand take-away. Some lesson I learned. Advice. Words of the wiser.