Last week in this space, I spoke about the lack of civility when discussing politics. I said that social media has emboldened some to speak foolishly on issues they never would have thought to discuss in public prior to the invention of chat forums like Facebook and Twitter.
And while I consider the lack of civility in conversation maddening at times, that thought of mine pales in comparison to real madness -- the loss of life, particularly the loss of young life.
Two junior high girls and their mother perished in a house fire in Harrisburg last Wednesday. Fourteen-year-old twins, Alaysia and Malaysia Peacock, succumbed to the horrors of that early-morning blaze as did their 39-year-old mom, Amanda Tashae (Wilkins).
News of the three deaths spread through this Saline County community quickly, much like the fire spread through the house.
The news has left city residents reeling this past week, searching for answers. How could something so awful like this happen? Why should any family have to endure such pain?
There are no easy answers to these questions. First, we grieve and then we move forward with our lives. That's all we, as humans, can do.
I thought it was cathartic for many of the teens who were teammates and friends of the twins to gather at the high school last week and honor the girls at a basketball game.
There was an abundance of tears, a few halfhearted smiles and many hugs to go around. The healing process has begun. It will take a while.
Perhaps former U.S. President Dwight David Eisenhower said it best when he said, "There's no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were."
While that is most certainly true, the people of Harrisburg will put their lives back together again slowly but surely. Time will ease the pain that is so evident now, but the memories held of Alaysia and Malaysia Peacock will forever be etched in our minds.