My little town is crying today. The unspeakable happened. We made the national news.
Eight People. Eight lives and eight futures. All those dreams and all those wishes, now gone. Lost and hurt are the fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters. Good Friends grieve too.
The town and the county hurt as one.
My wife and I chose to live in small town America to protect us from just what happened. We thought we had escaped.
We wanted our three children to grow up safe, isolated from what we read about in the daily papers and watched unfold during the evening news.
I read where someone described Brookhaven as “Mayberry.” I like that. I have been friends with the last two Sheriffs and the last three Chiefs of Police. I remember back when the town was truly like Mayberry. Back when the entire police department consisted of six men and one patrol car.
That changed Saturday night. We made the news.
The funerals will be held in the next few days. Ministers will talk about forever, lives cut short, the strength of one’s love for another.
Yes, someone will talk about how time, eventually, will make life easier for the survivors. The healing process will start.
But that won’t change what happened.
We never forget the scars. Something reminds us every day.
I didn’t know any of the people who died.
I know five of the sheriff’s deputies. I felt relief when I learned they were safe.
Then my heart broke for the man who died. He was good. He was a husband. He was a father.
As my father would say “he was a good hand.” If you work in the oilfield, there is no better compliment. William Durr was a good hand.
I grieve for the seven other victims, two kids, moms and wives.
Older people say the younger people have changed.
That is not true.
We’re born not knowing anything. We arrive in this world with a clean slate and an empty brain.
Someone teaches us all that we know. We learn from others. We see what others do, what is acceptable and what is not.
We are taught valuable lessons in life. We learn to make good decisions. We learn from the bad decisions.
We absorb what we see, be it right or wrong, good or bad.
We learn respect from those who teach us respect.
Now, my little town is wondering how in the world did this happen to us.
More importantly, a wife remembers the last hug from from her husband.
Her child is thinking about a father never coming home. He will always ask why this happened to me.
Please feel free to share. I welcome your comments and thoughts. Contact Mike Windham at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may follow me at mikewindham.com.