It is with a heavy heart that I share today’s photo. The day started as any other Monday does. I got up an hour before the kids, got myself ready followed by their lunches, my lunch and then breakfast with the news. Then I got them ready and out the door we went. This morning, I deviated a little from my routine in that I had to drop my car off at my in-laws and take theirs to work with me. You see, they were taking the kids from daycare to the kids hair salon for their hairs cuts.  They needed the two car seats.

I arrived at work about 5-10 minutes later than normal. Also different from my usual Monday, I didn’t go straight to my office.  I went to one of our conference rooms to work with my boss. We decided to spend the entire day together working on projects.  When I walked in, I knew something was wrong. She immediately asked me where I was and why I was late. This is not like her in the least. Something was amiss and I wasn’t sure what to say. I actually started to tell her about the kids sleeping in and swapping cars, when she tells me that a colleague of ours passed away. He was killed in a vehicle/bike accident over the weekend.

This is a man I worked with a few times on our projects. I was going to have the opportunity to work with him even more on a data project starting this year.  But, this is someone that my boss has worked very closely with for almost two years now. They have shared a person bond over their love for dogs. His passing hit her very hard. Not to mention she lived across the hall in the dorm from the congresswoman in Tuscon that was shot.  It was more tragedy than one should have to deal with at once.

I was shocked. I had just seen him before the break and at a loss for words. I also felt so helpless as how to help her.  I stumbled my way through the day. Helping her cry, talking like we normal talk and laughing, crying again for a while and reminiscing, taking her out of the office for a while to allow herself some time to mourn, and checking in on her often.  It was quiet on campus. Many of us knew him and were saddened by the news.  We work very closely with the ITS department. Many of our friends are dealing with this loss.

As I drove home, I thought about my project and the specialness of life as well as its fragility.  I knew, going into this project, it would mostly be filled with special memories. It would be a way for me to document all the fun we have with our kids as well as even the mundane days, seeing them in a different way than I used, special for the day existing. I also knew there was a chance there would be some hard days to document. This is one of those days.  I decided to not take a picture today. I wanted to use one I took last week of campus. I wanted to showcase the place I work. The campus we work on is not just a place to go to school and work, it truly is a family. We lost one of our own this weekend. I chose black and white as I felt it suited the mood best.  This photo, today, is in his memory. My he rest in peace. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this sad time.

Campus in Black and White