I was unaware of what had happened and of what events were unfolding in Chardon this morning until I arrived at work. I had seen helicopters as I pulled off the freeway, but I chalked it up to nice weather for flying. I had barely walked into the office when I was told, and I was immediately informed that a co-worker’s kids were okay and already with their mother. I pulled up the live news coverage, minimized the video and plugged in so I could listen as the news was updated, almost minute by minute.
An hour or so later, we learned that another co-worker had left in a hurry. His cousin was one of the victims. We were relieved when he contacted someone in my office to tell them that she was stable. By lunchtime, we learned that another victim had died at the trauma center of Metro.
I came home to more coverage of this tragic incident. We didn’t talk about it much. We just watched.
Now it is 1:15 a.m. I was in bed at 11, but today’s horror kept making the rounds through my head until I had to get up and write about it. It is too fresh, too awful, too close to home.
What a sad, sad commentary this is on our human existence. News reports say that this boy was picked on and made fun of by his peers. He was obviously troubled. He was obviously different. He obviously thought about taking these actions for some time. He obviously wanted his peers to know his intentions; otherwise he wouldn’t have posted such things on his Facebook page. No one listened; no one reported what they saw or read; no one took the threat seriously.
What a hell of a way to learn that we are put here to care for one another. When we ignore the plight of others, we upset life’s intended balance and things go awry. Maybe we need to spend more time teaching our kids how to be kind, caring individuals. Better yet, we should be teaching by example, by being kinder, more caring adults.
I’m heading back to bed now. My heart is aching for the victims and their families, and I will try to pray myself to sleep, asking the good Lord to help them through this horrible time. But I’ll also pray for that troubled, misunderstood boy who felt so unheard and alone that he resorted to this awful violence.