Today there was a horrible shooting in Newtown CT where a 20 year old man walked into an elementary school and killed a horrible amount of people, 20 children and 6 adults, before killing himself.
I have nothing to say about gun control or mental illness (whether or not he had some diagnosed illness is something I do not know).
What I want to tell you is when Geoff was in fourth grade they did a lot of training with the elementary school staff and children for an event such as this. Geoff insisted that if there was a gunman in the school in the building at his door wherever, he was going to fight him.
"They told us that we were to get with out teacher and huddle in the corner. But I'm not going to huddle in the corner. I am going to throw a chair at him. I will fight him. I will stop him from hurting the other children. If he gets through the locked door, I will stop him."
Tonight, I remember these words from him over six years ago, when he was small, and full of this passion and anger and fight. I let him know that the best bet for his survival and the other kids' survival would be to huddle in that corner and wait for it all to blow over like "Sean of the Dead" when they say "Let's go down to the Winchester, have a pint and wait for this all to blow over..."
Part of me was proud of him to be that balls to the wall fighter. Geoff's Fuck Yeah attitude has always impressed me. It isn't machismo, it isn't pride. It isn't a testosterone fueled insanity. That's just plain selflessness that I know is such a part of him. And... Part of me wanted my baby to always be counted as safe.
All these years later, it is all I can think of tonight.
In the meantime, a former classmate of the college I attended lost his daughter today. She was very little. And didn't have someone like Geoff standing between her and a gunman throwing a chair at him and yelling at him to fuck off... tonight I mourn Charlotte, even though I never met her...