I don't think anyone expects a story to end like this.
Deep down it always seems too surreal to become reality.
When you grow up in a small town,
You're supposed to feel protected.
That protection isn't due to a concealed handgun, a well-lit street, or strict rules and regulation.
It comes from understanding your neighbors look out for the best interest of the community.
Faces are familiar.
Friends become family.
Forever means forever.
And all fear appears foreign.
Somewhere, we lost that sense of community.
Somewhere, smiles became snarky remarks.
Somewhere, cheers of encouragement evolved into whispers of speculation.
Somewhere we all forgot we are neighbors.
That we are a community.
If I've learned one thing,
It's that as we age,
We tend to form blinders.
We become so indulged in our own world that we ignore those around us.
We no longer look out for the best interest of the community.
But no matter how old we become,
How far we move away,
Nothing replaces the comfort of Home.
And Home has never been,
Nor will it ever be,
A specific location.
Home is Each and Every one of us who made where we grew up such a special place.
Today, we lost a vital piece of Home.
R.I.P. Stephen C. Ford III.
R.I.P. Danielle Eibel Maximo.