A man died last night. I don't know his name, or anything about him except he was at a banquet, didn't feel well and left the table, only to collapse in the foyer.
The death of this man, while devastating for his family, also had a profound effect on my family.
My granddaughter was working this banquet, and had just served the man his dinner before he left the room. She was witness to the paramedics make a valiant effort to save his life, and for the first time in her life, was struck by how quickly life can change as she watched him die.
The night was long, much more so than if the EMS had been able to save him and rush him to hospital. A death, unexpected like that, is an automatic coroner's case and requires a different procedure.
Needless to say, after a late night, My granddaughter was not ready to embrace life this morning, was not ready to sit in a class when her thoughts were elsewhere.
I called her, told her she had 15 minutes and I would be there to pick her up. That is nowhere near enough time for her to be ready, but as I wasn't taking the time to shower, she didn't need to fuss.
We went out for breakfast and I let her tell me about the previous evening's events, and we were able to talk it out. I gave her a challenge, handed her my camera, and told her I was her driver and she was to take 100 pictures of things that were fun, colorful, and positive.
I wanted her to have those pictures in her mind, not the replay of the horrible events of the night before.
We went to the beach, all three sections that are accessible, and the river. We hit the fish ladder and saw the trout. We stopped to smell the magnolias in bloom, and looked at the trees and bushes in full flower.
At one point I found myself going the wrong way on a one way street (don't know how that happened) and when we turned around, we were at a store, so we shopped and found her a sweatshirt she liked.
We hit the 100 mark as we were driving home. Her Nana was out on the porch of her house with her mother, and we stopped and she took a picture as we had a visit.
All in all, it was a good day. We laughed, and we saw a great deal of the town she calls home, and she was in a better mood, with a new appreciation for what is good in her life.
She wants to have days like this more often, and I agreed. We plan to have a few more adventures through the summer, inspired by the love we feel and the enjoyment of being together. Hopefully that will stay the same, and she (at 14) will not have to go through what she went through last night, ever again.
I know that is Pollyanna thinking, but it never hurts to think positive.
PS Wish I had photos to share, maybe later as I left the camera with her so she could share them with her family.