My hometown has suffered a huge loss tonight: 3 teenage boys lost in a car accident with one in the hospital. I didn’t know them well, but in a small town, everyone knows everyone. I’ve known these boys since they were little second graders. I went to school with their siblings and they with mine. I know their parents, their friends, their co-workers and teachers. I know what sports they played in, who their relationships were with. I know their voices, their presence, their smiles.
I didn’t know them well, but I know just enough that it hurts more than I ever expected. I can’t fathom what their families are feeling right now. I’m sure I don't want to. I don’t want to imagine their siblings finding out they’ll never get another phone call, another text message, another conversation. I don’t want to imagine their mothers realizing that their babies are not ever coming home.
I don't want to imagine them never getting married, having kids. Never seeing their nieces and nephews growing up or their parents growing old. Never graduating from college. Never playing in another baseball game. I don't want to imagine any of these things, but right now, they're all I see. I don't understand. I can't understand.
John. Tyler. Payton. I hope you find some peace, wherever and however that is. Kansas. Keep your strength and keep fighting, because we can't lose you, too. Fly high, boys. Fly high.