This week national headlines came home to our small, close-knit communities here in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Red River teen Caleb Williams’ death provokes many emotions, but perhaps the most poignant is collective grief.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Cross and Williams families as they cope with the death of their 17-year-old-son. A young man, beginning on his path from childhood into the independence and responsibilities of adulthood, was cut short. Yet we want to hold him and, perhaps more, his family close and look toward those who want to sensationalize this thankfully uncommon event and say “NO! These are members of our family, they hurt and we hurt with them and for them.”
Caleb, his parents and brothers are our friends and neighbors. In their time of need we want to lift their burdens up and we can only hope that it provides some comfort.
We want to comfort those members of the community who were the first responders and other members of the public safety community who carry the difficult burden of assessment, stabilization and investigation. How amazing it is that these men and women choose to go into a scene where so many of us would go the other way.
Thank you. Let us be there for you, too. How sadly coincidental that we have several stories about these special men and women in this week’s paper.
We can’t forget one another in this time, that includes the child with rings around her eyes because she lost a friend and the teacher who worked so hard alongside Caleb and must pause because she saw a skinny red-head who reminds her of him. There is a member of the freeride/slopestyle team who looked forward to another day in the terrain park next season with Caleb and young men and women who remember lying with Caleb in the flowers on a mountainside looking at clouds. But also those friends Caleb made who had moved away and found out about his death from Facebook, hold them close to your hearts. In the quiet of the morning and the late evening sing a song of prayer for them all.
Editor’s Note — This editorial is the opinion of the Sangre de Cristo Chronicle.