There was a freak accident in my hometown recently involving the child of one of my friends. I am unclear on the exact details, but the result is that my friend's son experienced head trauma that sent him to the children's hospital in the Big City for a few days. There is residual, lingering damage; while it gives the superficial appearance of being minor, my friend is in the process of beating himself to pieces over it.
Remember getting yelled at for throwing paper airplanes in the classroom when the teacher stepped out, or turned her back for a minute, because someone's eye would get put out? Well, a teacher's son lost an eye to that when I was still in school. We were all terribly leery of throwing any kind of projectiles around after that happened. My friend's son was caught in the head with a small projectile that hit at exactly the wrong angle and caused some slight hemorrhaging in the cranium. It was an accident, and the person who threw it certainly didn't intend for this to happen.
I shouldn't borrow this trouble, but let me explain why I have: I have no brothers of my own, but I acquired several when I joined band, specifically when I joined the drumline. For four out of the five years that I marched, I was thrown in among this outfit. They teased me, and I was often extremely angry with them- my mother, who had three brothers, had to shepherd me through this experience because she understood it better than I did. They could say this stuff- some of it mean, but never cruel- but if anybody else hurt me or ran their mouths, they answered to my guys (and on one particularly memorable occasion to the older sister of one of them).
So now I don't know what to do for my friend. It was an accident, and he is a good father. He has stepped up in so many situations since we became adults, and I have been very impressed with the man he's become...although there were MANY times I would have gladly strangled him when we were teenagers. How can I help him? I just don't know. All I do know is that it's unproductive to blame yourself for things that you couldn't control; you have to focus on the now, and plan for the future, and whatever that might bring. He's brought his "A game" so many times before, and I'm hoping that the same resolve sets in soon. He's going to need it.