Living in a small community can be both painful and joyful, sometimes simultaneously. When we live together, work together, play together and pray together, our lives and thus our tragedies and triumphs are bound to overlap.
My heart ached when I heard news of the tragedy on Magby Creek. I don’t know the Brown family but I know they are friends of some of my uncle’s friends and they are members of this community I call home. One thing is certain when tragedy hits a small town — we are within a small number of people that are connected directly to the tragedy.
But we have to find the good in the midst of the chaos. I will never feel the Brown family’s pain, yet I grieve for them in my own way. And the tragedy brought out the best of some of the members of the community.
Columbus Police Officer Canyon Boykin pulled the Browns’ daughter from the water and tried to comfort her during the confusion. Boykin and all of the first responders and rescue and emergency personnel should be commended for their efforts. I also commend those of you who prayed and brought food and drinks to the rescue workers and the Brown family. This is a community at its best.
I hope you were also sending prayers to the family of Willie Hood Jr., who was slain at his home on Pine Street, or Te-Te Selvie, who was paralyzed after being shot on Wheat Street.
Although the Facebook banter didn’t mention the Hood family or Te-Te, I assume this was just an oversight and not a matter of skin color. We are all neighbors, and losing a child can’t be easy for a white family nor a black family.
This week, we had reason to celebrate with the 3-2 win by the 5A baseball State Champions New Hope Trojans. Congratulations to Coach Lee Boyd and his coaches and players for bringing home the big win. I also want to congratulate the fans who helped make this season special for the team and for the community. The Trojans gave us all something to cheer for when we needed it the most. I am very grateful to Coach Boyd and the team for giving us hope — New Hope. A win by a ball team in no way undoes the tragedies of the drownings and the shootings, but it does give us a newfound sense of pride in our community.
Next week we will be on to the next thing, and whatever it is will seem important to those involved. And it will be important — it’s all important. These are the moments that truly make us human — the moments when we cry together and, ultimately, laugh together.
Jeff Clark is the Managing Editor of The Columbus Packet. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org/packet.0