This has been one of the hardest weeks we have had in a long time and it has shaken our entire community. I could feel the hurt from miles away and knowing I couldn't help was the worst feeling of all.
We lost three special people in a weeks time. Even though I only knew one, I know that the other two were just as special by the way the community has represented them.
Our community has a lot to overcome and it will be a while before we are fully healed. One thing I know is that if any community can be healed, it is ours. The love and support I have seen poured out is unreal. You have came together in a time of need. I saw high schoolers loving each other, even those they didn't know well. The whole community was praying and hoping for strength and wisdom through this. I watched as the middle school devoted a day to raising money to the hurting family in the community. If people say the future is hopeless, they haven't seen the love and thoughtfulness I have seen through the kids in my hometown this week.
I came home to a community devastated, but despite the somber tone, I felt peace and love everywhere. People were caring for each other. They were going out of their way to support those around them. Those who had moved away were supporting their old community from afar.
Not only did our community come together to help each other heal, but other communities around us showed that they were supporting us too. Rival high schools poured out their love, communities several miles away were reaching out to us and many people who had never heard of our little town were praying for us.
Our community grew this week, together. We will truly miss those who left us too soon. We will keep their memories alive. We will continue to love each other. I am so proud to say I am from Cherryville - a community who comes together in times of need. We have a long way to go, but together we can make it.