2018-06-17 / Editorial

Say today what you can’t tomorrow

It has been a tough week in Lapeer County — one marked by death, tragedy and heartache felt by family, friends and associates who lost loved ones.

On Wednesday, in a span of a few hours an Arcadia Township woman was found hanged of apparent suicide in her hotel room, a Lapeer 19-year-old lost his life when his vehicle struck a tree and burst into flames and a 55-year-old Lapeer man took his life when he stepped in front of a freight train. The deaths — all of them — were so shocking and upsetting, especially because they occurred all in the same day. So many hurting people, as a result, so many tears and so many questions that had people openly asking friends and strangers alike, “What’s going on?”

The County Press also lost a dear friend in our collective newspaper family this week when longtime “Lapeer Memories” columnist Doris Burke passed away Monday, June 11 at age 89. The talented writer and poet each week shared her stories and memories of growing up on the family farm and in Lapeer when living was simpler, and some would say “better” owing to the slower pace when people talked face to face rather through texts, tweets, and emails.

Today is Father’s Day, and so we think because of weeks like the one just experienced we should never lose focus of who and what’s really important in life. It’s the people in our families, it’s our friends, our co-workers and the people in our communities who every day get out of bed with the intention to make it a better day for someone besides themselves.

Sons and daughters, if you can’t see your father today in person pick up the phone and give him a call to let him know you’re thinking about him, that you love him and appreciate the good he’s brought to your life. Sure, some relationships are strained as few lives are perfect but try not to allow old spats and grudges stand in the way of maintaining a relationship with a parent — or for that matter a sibling, a friend, a classmate or a coworker.

The same advice can be applied to nearly everyone we come in contact with. Life is too short and sometimes filled with periods of stress, personal setbacks, illness and loneliness when a friendly smile or a “Hello, how are you doing today?” greeting as you meet people in the grocery aisle, at the Post Office or at your favorite dining establishment can go a long way to bring a smile or lighten the mood.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to show someone, even a stranger, that there’s good in the world and that all people are basically good given the chance to express themselves without the fear of ridicule or judgment.

We mentioned it in Wednesday’s editorial, but it bears mentioning again following several celebrity suicides that made the news and the continued awful frequency of suicides or suicidal behavior in Lapeer County that warrants calls to 911 Central Dispatch that The County Press in today’s Insight section is taking a deeper examination of suicide.

It’s a depressing subject that many would rather not address or think about on a beautiful Father’s Day weekend when many families will gather for a few hours to celebrate the day, but the topic of suicide needs to be something we can talk to our kids and loved ones about.

On weeks like the one just experienced, we’re reminded the importance of each day telling those around us how much they mean to you — that you love them, that you appreciate them and miss them.

Say what you mean today, as you may not get tomorrow.

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