Most of the time, I am very happy to call this community my home. Of course, there are times when things annoy me, like they would anywhere I might live in the world, but that usually involves people being mean to each other online. I know you all have read my editorials complaining about that subject more then once.
However, there are other times where I could not be prouder to call myself a “Mountain Homie.” These past few weeks I definitely could not be prouder to call this community my home. Tragedy always tends to bring people together. Look back to the days after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 when stores across the nation were selling out of flags and people were wearing anything patriotic they could get their hands on. Our whole nation came together and no one was a stranger to anyone.
The past few weeks in Mountain Home have reminded me of that. As news came out about the three tragic accidents that befell members of our community, people immediately began to rally around the families. Fundraisers quickly began to be planned and people have shown up in force for each one that has been held so far.
The week that we had to put the stories in the paper about the events that had happened was a very difficult and draining week for us. We are the news source for a small community where we are all living and raising, or have raised, our families. When something bad happens it is our families, friends and neighbors that we are writing about and it is not always easy.
I personally, had a very difficult week, it hit me hard and I was a pretty depressed person. However, though I am devastated for the family who lost their children and for our law enforcement officer who is dealing with intensive injuries and a couple who are mourning the loss of a mother and an infant daughter, the events of the last couple of weeks since have lifted my spirits and gave me a little more faith in humanity. We live in an amazing place where when things get hard we do everything we can to help our neighbors and I love that about small town living. I don’t necessarily know if the fundraising and donating would have happened on such a large scale somewhere bigger. I don’t know if that would be because people in larger places are a little more desensitized to bad news or if its because in a larger area people just assume enough other people will show up that it won’t make much of a difference if they do or not. Whereas, in our little community, we know it needs to be all hands on deck.
The money that has been raised, the kind words and just the genuine sense of caring, compassion and love that has been flowing through this town this month is absolutely amazing. My hope is that as things begin to calm down and the fundraisers slowly come to an end, we all remember what type of community we truly are. Let’s think about how we have all come together and been there for each other as we go forward. We don’t always have to agree on who to vote for or which projects need completing or who we just don’t like at all, but let’s remember that we are all neighbors, friends and families and we care about the people of this small tight-knit community.