Community: The good news story

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Farm Forum

I have a very good news story to report to you readers. This good news story did not make the national or international news headlines, but it was and still is a very good news story for anyone to read who has ever experienced a life tragedy.

I so wish the major television networks would have picked up on the significance of this good news event and broadcast it for all to watch. For, it might have made a few people stop and think about our great country, the United States of America. And realize that here in the Heartland, our communities are not fighting or burning or destroying each other, but instead are coming together and taking care of each other when a tragedy occurs. And the story goes like this…

August 10, 2016

The morning of August 10, 2016, brought a heartbreaking event to our family. Our son called us that morning to report his fiancé had been killed in a tragic car accident. We were stunned beyond belief and for the next couple of days, events were only a blur in our minds.

So many things to do in such a brief period of time; so many questions to answer; so much hurt and grief to deal with, but there was a bright spot that surfaced out of this agony and it surfaced almost immediately.

That bright spot or what I like to call the good news story was that the communities of Henry, Hayti, Clark, Watertown and those beyond all rallied together to help the Green-Holiday families cope with losing their precious Amy Holiday. Talk about support – it was unbelievable.

The communities banded together and helped us through it all. Our families were overwhelmed with grief, but the communities overwhelmed us with their generosity.

August 14, 2016

The visitation took place at the Henry School gym. It was the only place large enough to accommodate the event. From 2-6 p.m., a steady stream of visitors came to pay their respects to Amy and the families. The beautiful flowers and photos and gifts and cards that were given – oh, my! Again, the family was overwhelmed, but the communities came and took care of us.

The sheer numbers of people was one thing, but the folks having to stand for hours in a gym with no air-conditioning, well, that was quite another matter. No one grumbled, no one complained, the community had come to pay their final respects to Amy and to help share in the family grief.

August 15, 2016

The service was also held at the school on the morning of August 15. Again the numbers were staggering. Close to 600 people came for the service and supported the Green-Holiday families. It was a beautiful service followed by a committal service at our little country cemetery.

Amy loved horses, and so her good friend drove her team of Clydesdales proudly carrying Amy to her final resting place at the Lorinda Cementary. And then, Amy and Brian’s children along with all the nieces and nephews sent off purple and turquoise balloons as a final farewell.

Another community tradition

Keeping with another long-standing South Dakota tradition, everyone was invited back to the school for a light lunch. Our church ladies, the school staff, and many volunteers served a light lunch of homemade buns, ham sandwiches, bars and cookies, chips, and a cool drink. No one went home hungry – the generosity of the community ladies made sure of that.

Reflections

I have briefly related some of the events of the last few weeks. It has been a trying time for everyone: our family, relatives, friends, and our communities. We are still grieving.

But, as I stated at the beginning of this article, this is a good news story. It is a good news story because I wanted to let everyone know about the strong communities we still have in South Dakota. People in our small rural South Dakota communities care about each other, support each other, and are always there for each other.

Personal thank you

A sincere thank you to all the local communities from the Green and Holiday families. We couldn’t have done this without you.

Jane Green and her husband, Jim, live near Clark. Contact Jane for some public speaking, to order one of her books, or to register your comments. Email her at jgreen@itctel.com.