I wouldn’t say that I talk a lot of shit about my hometown.

I mean, there are definitely people who talk more shit about my hometown than I do. For example, my brother talks a whole lotta shit about our hometown. When he finished high school, he was done. He basically gave our hometown the middle finger and pulled a Chris Brander:

This town is full of losers and I’m pulling out to win!

Except he didn’t pull out on a bike and ride down the street. Nor was he 300 pounds. And, to my knowledge, he never sat alone in his room lip-synching to I Swear by All-4-One. (I know, it’s an excellent song!) Actually, he may have done that. I can’t be certain, though.

Anyway, my point is, our hometown is pretty okay. I mean, people can be catty and sometimes it’s really clique-y and it feels like everyone knows everyone else’s business, but that can happen anywhere.

There are times, though, when something happens and you stop for a moment and remember why your town is awesome and why the people who make up the community are just good people.

Something happened on Sunday that made me realize how glad I am to be part of my hometown and still feel a connection to it. Something horribly tragic. Something inconceivably sad.

On Sunday, four seniors from last year’s graduating class were in a car accident. Three of the four were killed and one remains in the hospital. They were just babies; they were fresh out of high school and just beginning their adventures into adulthood. The boy who lived (I swear that wasn’t an intentional Harry Potter reference!) is expected to make a full recovery, but the road will definitely be a long one.

The effect this car crash had on our community was intense. On facebook, I watched an outpouring of support fill my newsfeed, and I continue to see it.  The grief was so apparent, and all I saw was love. Love for the families, love for those lost, love for those in recovery, love for the friends who experienced loss, love for the community in general. Even people who didn’t personally know any of the kids were touched. It was truly amazing and I really just feel so thankful to have been raised in such a loving community. I’m so thankful to know people who are so caring and compassionate.

I really just want to say that it’s so important to tell those people close to you how much they mean to you. It’s important to make sure the people you care about know you love them. It’s important to think of others and reach out in times of need.

My town gets that.

And I love that.

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