Yesterday, as I was leaving the library, a kid I know stopped me to say hi. (She’s about 12 and has said to me in the past: “You’re my best friend…in the library.” I appreciated this even WITH the qualifier.) She gave me a hug like she always does and I asked her how she was doing. She kind of looked down at the floor, nodded, and said “I’m okay.” I immediately grew concerned.
Me: “Are you sure you’re okay?”
Her: “Well, sorta.”
Me: “Is something wrong?”
She nodded again. “Things are kind of intense right now.”
My heart kind of dropped and I steeled myself for a conversation about Newtown, family trouble, school troubles, or any of the above combined. I would say the right thing. I would be there for her. I would get her help if she needed it.
“What’s going on that’s intense for you?”
“Well, ‘The Vampire Diaries’ is OVER. I have nothing to look forward to anymore.”
I let out the breath I’d been holding and almost laughed with relief. She was okay. I, on the other hand, have been a bundle of electric nerves and raw emotions since Friday.
There is no sense in tragedy. There are no lessons to learn, except maybe these: to give love (or at least kindness) freely, to listen to those around us and let them know that they are heard and understood. I do what little part I can in the world around me - even if it’s just listening to a lamentation about a favorite television show ending.
You never know what’s important to someone. You never know what will matter until it’s possibly too late.