This week I learned that it is easy to become just a statistic.
My asbestos friend used to babysit a little girl after-school everyday. She was particularly memorable, because she had the same first name as my asbestos friend.
One day she announced, as kids do, “Two people cannot have the same name. I will call you Frank.”
And the name has stuck. Many of my asbestos friend’s family members still call her Frank. And I do too, on occasion. That was probably another thing in high school that my classmates thought I was weird for, calling her “Frank.” But it made perfect sense to us.
My mom also happened to work at the same factory where both the parents worked.
The family ended up having a little boy that my friend babysat for as well.
Years later, at my asbestos friend’s wedding, I sat at the same table with the family. I didn’t know them well, but we all chatted.
So, I casually knew of them. They were acquaintances.
But it was still very sad to hear that this week the father died at 57 years old from the H1N1 flu.
The little girl that my asbestos friend had babysat for? According to pictures I see on Facebook, she is expecting her own baby soon. So sad that her father won’t be around to meet his grandchild.
And now? His whole life has been reduced to a statistic by the local news. He lived in Lenawee County.
He is the statistic right at the beginning of the news report. The rest of the report is about Lucas County, Ohio.
Clickable link to the same news story: http://www.13abc.com/story/24462839/60-year-old-curtice-man-dies-from-flu