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Monday, January 7, 2013

Reaching Out

Scott Schaffer said it at the close of the 11 PM newscast the night of the Connecticut school shootings-- "hug your kids."

Since I have no children of my own, and society frowns upon middle aged men running out to hug random children, I found a fantastic substitute.  A good college friend works in a school about 20 miles from Newtown, CT.  I knew she was safe, and I knew her children were beyond elementary school age.  Still, I had to give her a call.

We played phone tag for a little while.  We finally connected on the 27th.  She was OK.  The kids are fine.  Like every parent, and everyone in that area, she was rattled by the events of December 14th.  How could you not be affected by such horror?  The thing I noticed during the last few weeks was that parents felt the pain more than single people, and that was true with my friend.  Understandable.

We talked for more than an hour.  After a long discussion of what happened, we remembered simpler times-- when the most important things in our lives were grades, and school projects, and having something to do on Friday nights.

You may remember, this was the same person I called on the 25th anniversary of our graduation.  We hadn't spoken in four and a half years.  It's a cliche, but time really does fly.  I'm sorry it took a tragedy for me to pick up the phone.

Connecticut showed how life can change in an instant.  I promise to be a better friend.