Solomon Valley windmill

Solomon Valley Chronicles

This Moment in Time

Solomon Valley Chronicles was born of my love not just for history and genealogy but also for the area and the people who occupy it. I am who I am because of living here and the people I have encountered, both past and present. While most of Solomon Valley Chronicles will always be history or genealogical in nature, encouraged by a friend and Solomon Valley descendant (or perhaps "aided and abetted" would be a better description), I have decided to add "This Moment in Time". It will be my "take" on current happenings in the Solomon Valley. History is really about different moments in time, what happened in them and people's reaction to those events. This happens to be our moment...

Entries here will be, at best, sporadic glimpses of life in the Solomon Valley Chronicles area. I do not claim to be impartial. I write from the heart, what I feel and think. Please take it for what it is worth...considerably less than two cents on the open market. ;-)

This moment in time...
22 March 2011

A week ago today, a 17-year-young boy died in my town.

It brought back memories of August 1989 when my nieces drowned. Some of the memories were of the many kindnesses extended to my family by friends, neighbors, even who, unasked, built a ramp for the few steps into the sanctuary at the Hill City Methodist Church for my wheelchair-bound mother; cards and letters from all over the nation by those who had heard about it; farmers who came and finished all of my brother’s fieldwork in one afternoon; collection jars in every business to help with the funeral expenses (greatly appreciated but unnecessary as my father had purchased life insurance for each grandchild hoping, of course, it would never be used); and oh, so many more. I hold those memories, and the people who created them, in my heart like precious jewels. To me, they are priceless. Those things eased the most unbearable time in my family’s life.

Also in my memory bank are the thoughtlessly unkind or deliberately hurtful albeit "well-intentioned" words and deeds as well as the people who did them. At the time, each was a wound, a stab to my heart. The wounds are gone, but the scars remain. All these years later, those memories pop unbidden into my head at the sight of the person or upon hearing their name. I wish I could forget the bad things. Truly I do. It would be so much easier to remember only the good, but we don’t have a choice in what we remember. None of us live in a vacuum. However, in a small town, words and deeds "get around" far more than we intend. In a way, it matters more what we say and do.

Today another family grieves. And they will continue to do so for a long time. It will take years to heal their broken hearts. Nothing anyone says or does will affect the boy...he is beyond the hurt and pain of this world. The sad fact is most of us here in town probably will not remember this boy’s name in twenty years. But his family will. They will never forget. They will remember the acts of kindness, possibly with the same sense of preciousness that I do. So too will they remember those who caused the scars.

The above is purposefully devoid of the particulars of this boy’s death. To my way of thinking...

Regardless of the circumstances,
Regardless of what precipitated it,
Regardless of anything else,
A child of our town is gone.
His family and friends are hurting.
If you’ve suffered the loss of a child,
If you’ve ever made a wrong choice,
If you have children of your own,
If you were ever 'a kid',
Can you empathize?
I did not know him well,
Just enough to say Hi.
But my heart is still breaking.
I do not know why this happened,
All I know is
Regardless of the circumstances,
Regardless of what precipitated it,
Regardless of anything else,
A child of our town is gone.

Copyright © 2013 Jackie Wilson Goddard.

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Last updated 24 June 2017.