Sunday, January 20, 2013

In Honor of Lauren Rousseau of Sandy Hook Elementary

I have to admit that this one really hits home with me.  If you know my background, I am a substitute teacher (although I have thirteen years of regular teaching under my belt).  I am well aware of what substitutes face on a regular basis.  I have even been a long-term sub.  I never understood just what I could be facing until December 14, 2012, occurred.

It was a wonderful Friday morning in December.  Lauren Rousseau had recently landed a permanent substitute job at Sandy Hook Elementary after attaining a master's degree and working odd jobs for several years.  She had a wonderful boyfriend, and she was planning to go see "The Hobbit" that night.  She even made special cupcakes in celebration of this.  Things were really good for her.

Little did she know that her life was about to be unexpectedly taken from her.  She was with the first grade class that morning, and I am sure she was taking care of the normal routine.  Taking roll, asking if there were notes to go to the office, probably taking a lunch count.  Maybe there was a kid or two who needed to use the restroom or who were having a little morning squabble.  They probably had some kind of work to be doing that morning while school got started and the announcements were getting ready to begin.

But this was no normal day to be sure.  And I am sure she heard the shooting over the announcements, but unfortunately, as a sub, she had no keys.  ( I can relate to that.  I usually have keys, but not always.  Especially at the elementary level.)  Evidently, the first room the shooter went to was locked.  And so he opened her room, and in moments, her life and the lives of her sixteen children ended.  Everything had changed in just a moment.  One moment, Lauren was looking at the clock and probably calculating the hours until her weekend could begin.  And the very next, she entered eternity.  Let's hope she was ready.

I am participating in 26 Acts of Kindness in cooperation with the Global Team of 200.  We are encouraging people to do a random act of kindness for someone to remember these 26 victims of this terrible shooting.  What can you do?  It can be something as simple as wishing a total stranger a good day.  Maybe you can bake cookies and drop them off at your neighbor's house.  Maybe you could buy a coffee for the person behind you in line.  Do something as easy as give money to a charity, or perhaps you can help out at some kind of local shelter.  It doesn't have to be anything big.  But be sure to do something kind for someone that is unexpected.  You never know when the last breath you take may be your last.  Just ask the friends and families of Lauren Rousseau.

For more information:

Want to read more posts in this series?  Check out the posts below.

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