The small town of Denison, Iowa is the home to 8,457 wonderful and amazing people. Even though many say raising children in a small town is better, I can’t help, but think that even if we do go to a small town, there is so much hate that gets thrown around. We don’t take the time to learn about one another, yet we are quick to judge. In a small town I would hope someone would love my children and I hope my children would love others. The reason for this, is because throughout the many years that I have been in Denison I have never lost so many people in a short period of time. I still have my grandparents, uncles/aunts and my parents, among many other family members out there.

In 2014, I graduated high school and was excited to be attending Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. During the summer, I received a text from my friend saying that Dakotah passed away. At first I thought it was a joke, but unfortunately she was telling the truth. I didn’t know him personally, but I did have conversations with him and I enjoyed the time we spoke. I saw him in the halls, at my place of employment, and around other areas of Denison. I still question why all of this happened to this day, I repeat the day I found out over and over again, hoping it was all some sick twisted joke. If only the truck driver watched or listened for the sound of his motorcycle, I can’t help, but think he’d still be here today. Miss you, DMC 7-8-14.

In the winter of 2014, I found out someone that was so cheerful, happy and beautiful was in the hospital fighting for her life. Every night I said a prayer for her and her family that she will come out of this stronger than ever before. I hoped that this, too, was a joke because I just got done thinking about the passing of Dakotah and I couldn’t bare to loose someone from my own class. Everyday I would get on Facebook and look at her brother’s page for updates. The posts would tell us how she was doing and sometimes those posts would make my heart feel happy as some had improvements. I came home from school, late at night in December when I had started making food, when my sister asked me if I heard what happened. I told her I did and that I knew she was in the hospital, unfortunately my sister said, “No, Selena she passed away.” I remember crying like there was no tomorrow feeling numb and senseless. She was kind heart and had a wonderful soul, why her. I question it everyday. Miss you, TMT 12-12-14.

In 2015, I thought things were going to be better. Things were good nothing was happening and all those thoughts vanished 3-20-16 when I found out that yet again Denison was struck with a tragedy. I remember reading it on Facebook, thinking no way is this true, I had just talked to you a few months before. This one hit me hard because the things I said weren’t very nice and I regret it to this day, even though in the time of me saying this it was in defense towards my family. I miss you every day, in school you were a goofball. Miss you, BJOL 3-20-16.

I really thought Denison would be fine. That things would lighten up around Denison, I thought we would be okay, until June 12 of this year when I heard from a friend that two students I went to school with were in a car accident and didn’t make it. I knew the girl, because we were in cheer together, she taught me everything I needed to know about it and for it. She told me with practice makes perfect so don’t expect to get it the first time around. She was kind and caring, I saw her out with friends just a week before, little did I know that would be the last time I would be seeing her. The male student that passed away, I had a class with you, but we never talked. You stood up for what you believed in and thats what I knew about you, nothing more. Miss you both, RRM & EFR 6-12-16.

All of these snippets are of how I felt and how I found out about it all. I want to talk the time to say I’m sorry to all of the the people affected by the passing of these amazing individuals. It isn’t fair to loose a family member or friend. I want those to know that with the passing of these individuals I feel heartbroken even though I might have not known them personally. I send my condolences to their friends and families of them all. I’m sorry you had to go through these difficult events, but I know you have people there beside you.

But, even with these events I see people pushing others away. We as a community should be coming together to help one another get through all of these hard times. Things will get better, we may not see it or want to believe it now, but they will. Have faith and know that one day you will see these amazing angels again. Until that day, hold on to their memories and forever cherish the time you got with them. I love you all and I’m always open to listen to anyone. Create love not hate.

Rest in Paradise lovely angels, we will meet again!