Angela and I stood together shivering, more from the chill inside ourselves than from the weather, talking to the other parents as they gathered at the door, waiting. They all have a story to tell, of when they saw their child last. Child — at times like this, the hulking 240-pound linebacker becomes, once again, “My baby.”
I had ignored Melody’s phone call. The memory lacerated like a whip.
At a time like this some people talk, and some don’t. Some tell stories, and some complain that nobody has done anything about this. “This” might be the weather or the newspeople or the presence of the kids milling around or the fact that we were standing in wet grass soaking up rainwater in our shoes or the unresponsiveness of the administration.
But I know the “this” they’re complaining about. The complaints serve to drown out the pain, but they’re really about the fact that someone has mercilessly, maliciously gunned down five people who had not taken their lives into their hands, but had had them ripped away anyway. “This” was the pain of human existence from the time of Cain and Abel, and it’s not the fault of the weather or the news reporters or the administration.
It’s one person in pain and malice who pulled the trigger.