I went galloping into work like I usually do, one step ahead of late, and I threw on my vest and headed for the register. I saw a picture of a kid, a good looking teenager, tanned with brilliant blue eyes and the stance of an athlete. I saw that they were holding a benefit for him. I studied him a minute. He went to the high school that all of mine graduated from, and I wondered if Cara knew him. The poster said they were raising money for his medical expenses.
Gary knows everybody. I never have seen the likes of it, so when we had a quiet moment, I said, "What's the story with that boy they are having the benefit for." And Gary shook his head. "It's a good friend of Ike's," he said, naming yet another coworker. "They thought he had the flu. He had spinal meningitis. He lived, but he's got the mind of a five year old." I stared in horror.
I cannot stop thinking about that. I always thought that the death of a child would be the most terrible thing ever, but I seriously cannot imagine anything like staring into the face of your son every day, at the same time knowing that you will never talk with that teenager again.