Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tragedy in my hometown.

 This has been a very emotional week for my community.  If you never heard of our little school before
,you may have heard of us now.  We are the little school with the superintendent that was killed at his home last weekend.  He was found outside his home on Monday morning.  Friends and work associates became concerned when he did not answer his phone calls, which was never his way.  He was supposed to be at a meeting in the state that he never checked into.  He ate with his daughter Friday night.  Time of death was ruled to be late Friday night.  Some went to his house and found that his car and stuff was still there and the concerns increased.  There was an emergency staff meeting at 7:15 which was called at 5am Monday morning...The staff was told that Mr Reed was missing.   Police came, found nothing and then the police canine came and located Mr Keith Reed's body on his property, where he had been shot to death. I have lived her over 46 years and cannot recall another one else could name one either.   He had only been our superintendent since November of last year, but he had a manner and style that endeared him to the kids, community, and staff...always around...always available...knew them by name and kept track of things.

Already planned this week at our school, and schools around the country was Wednesday's annual SEE YOU AT THE POLE gathering.  Student led, it is a once a year movement of scripture, prayer and singing around the flagpoles of schools, yep, public schools in the morning before school starts- kids, parents, neighbors.  We have participated in the this for many years.  I usually tear up at these, just because that's the way I am, and I have huge amounts of pride and respect for the students who are not ashamed to stand up for their beliefs. Many of these are the kids in my church and in our joint youth group.  They are strong in their faith...they will need that.  This year I grabbed my box of tissues from the car.  I had a feeling that I was not the only one who would need them.  With a news camera set up out in front of the school, we were ushered past the flag pole, with the flag flying at half mast, inside the building, because of rain and headed down to the gym.  A group gathered there, still in shock over the events of the past couple of days.  The crowd was large but subdued.  We had scripture and sang together, then broke into 10 smaller groups for prayer circles.  We were invited to share our prayer concerns...many sharing a memory of this man we knew for a short time.  I shared that although I was sad for the students that had lost someone they knew and saw so much of, I was even more sad that someone had taken that sense of safety and security that we had had in our town for so many years.  At that time, they had still not identified nor captured the man suspected of committing the crime.  Calling hours were held on Wednesday and Thursday in his hometown, where his parents still lived.  Parents who had 5 years before, buried a daughter who had lost her battle with breast cancer.  Funeral service was held on Friday, with our school dismissed early enough for all to be able to attend.  Monday night we will have a memorial service at our school. 
 This week was our Spirit Week which leads up to Homecoming.  It is a week usually filled with dress up days and spirited competition among the classes.  Not so much this year.  We had a few things cancelled, some rescheduled, but the game on Saturday was played.  Before the game there was a statement read by the announcer, followed by a prayer by Pastor Erin Beckerink.  A moment of silence was observed and then the game, dedicated to the memory of our fallen leader, started.  I had a feeling the team would either be incredibly flat, or fired up.  Good for us, they were on fire.  What should have been a close game, we ran all over the other team with a score of 55-7.  No question,  That game was ours.  After the game, the coaches and the team lined up for a picture with Keith Reed's 3 daughters...2 college students and one college graduate who was recently married.  Please continue to pray for his family and for our school and community.  God is here, in Clymer NY and he's holding your hand here, if you need it...and we do.

On a little happier note, here is my senior boy with one of his friends.  She is the daughter of one of my friends.  She likes to tease him.  I didn't notice until I put this on the computer that she had held his hand for the picture.
Here's a picture with his favorite sister...ok, his only sister, but she's a keeper!!  My future dentist...You go, Andy Sue!!
After the game, Dan talked a few minutes with Keith Reed's only surviving sibling, brother Kevin.

Here's to a better week, and a week of continued healing and prayer...may we never stop praying...when we are weak HE is STRONG!!

1 comment:

Naturally Carol said...

My condolences to you and your community Karen Sue. This is sad news indeed and a tragedy. No community, it seems, stays untouched by violence these days. I know that you will be a great strength to those around you at this time.