Gone too Soon

There are certain things that we as humans do not want to ever see happen. We never want to see a loved one go to jail. We never want to see fighting between friends. But, the one thing that none of us want, is for our children to die before we do. Yesterday, two families here in Lee County received just that horrible news. In a freak accident, two seniors at Saltillo High were killed in a one car accident. I am not going to focus on the accident, for I don’t know what happened. I do know this: two lives are gone that had bright futures. Two families are shattered. Two funerals will occur this week. Many friends are broken, destroyed.

I did not have the pleasure of knowing Gage Fidram, the passenger of the truck. I am sure he was a good young man who will be sorely missed by his friends and family.

Jesse Witt on the other hand, I did know and it has been a difficult couple of days. Jesse and I went to church together. I am a little bit older than him, but still got to know him. Prior to last September, I wasn’t a member of Jesse’s fan club. As a matter of fact, I thought of him as a typical teenager. This is not to say that Jesse was bad, it’s just to say that he was neither here nor there in my opinion. That all changed last year when I went on a canoeing trip with Jesse. You see, just going on a trip with him wouldn’t mean very much, but this one was a little bit different. The average age of the person on the trip was probably 35 including Jesse’s 17 years. He was the only teenager on the trip and he didn’t care. Jesse enjoyed himself. From being the first to use the rope swing to doing a flip and doing a back flop, Jesse was right there in the middle. He did not care that he was half everyone else’s age. He enjoyed himself, was polite, talked to everyone, and over the course of a day, changed my mind. Jesse was the kind of teenager that is rare. He was a teenager that was going to go far in life. When I got home from that trip, I told my wife how much I had enjoyed my time with him and that he had impressed me. No, we didn’t become bosom buddies. As a matter of fact, we never really spoke again except in passing. What mattered to me was that Jesse was a good kid.

Jesse came from a good family. His parents, Leonard and Sheila, are good people. Last year, when we were trying to cover SEC Football here on TupeLocal, Leonard, the biggest Bama fan I have ever met, wrote a blog on the State/Bama game. (http://tupelocal.com/msu-vs-alabama-alabama-blog/) Even as busy as Leonard is, he took time out to help out a friend. My children love “Ms. Sheila.” I guess this is why this hurts so much. Saturday morning, Leonard and Sheila woke up to any other day. Their kids out and about doing their thing. Sunday, though, their world came crashing around them. Around 4:45 Sunday morning, Jesse and his friend, Gage, were involved in a hideous accident. I can’t even fathom what they are going through.

What I have been proud of is how our community has come together. Meals have already been set up. People are there to comfort them. People are praying for the family.  In essence, people are doing just what I would expect of Northeast Mississippi. They are serving the Witts. They are caring for the Witts. They are loving the Witts.

Yesterday, I held my own kids a little tighter. I loved on them a little more. I hope you, if you are a parent, will hold your child a little tighter tonight. Life is fleeting.

Finally, I ask you, TupeLocals, please pray for the Witt and the Fidram families. They will need it not just in the immediate future but in the months and years to come.

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1 review

  1. ABaggett, April 20, 2013 8:52 am - Gone too Soon

    Very well said. Here we are almost a week later, and my heart still hurts for them. I can’t imagine the agony they’re experiencing.

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