Before last week, the majority of Valley citizens had never heard of Missy Moyer or Amy Stiner. A week later, our hearts still ache for their families.
News of their tragic deaths last week at the end of an unmarked road leading to the Atlantic Ocean in Maine rattled people to the core. It hit close to home.
We often look for answers in times like this, try to find a meaning for it, a reason. More often than not the answers never come. Maybe there simply aren't any. "I believe wholeheartedly in freak accidents," said Moyer's sister Megan Aikey. "If there's something Missy could have done, she would have."
It is a helpless feeling we have all had and can all relate to. For that reason we see people who never knew Moyer, of Sunbury, or Stiner, a Catawissa native, opening their hearts to the families too offer, however brief, some comfort.
While they are just words, they can mean so much and tell part of the story we don't know:
"Those who knew Missy Moyer where all blessed with knowing such a sweet, caring, and loving person. No matter how bad your day was brought you to a smile with her loving smile. And those who didn't know her she was the kind of person you wished you would have. Only she had such a special way of making others feel better and she touched so many lives."
"I have known Missy since we were little kids, went to Girl Scouts with her where her mom and grandmother were our leaders. Played softball, had sleepovers, had nickname of M&M girls, graduated school and still stayed in touch. She talked me into going to the class reunion next month and we were going to go as each other's date. She could always turn something into something."
These are just two of dozens of heart-felt responses to the tragedy. They represent the Valley's values that resonate during trying times like these.
It won't undo what's been done, nothing we say or do can. Yet they help in the healing, the remembering and the celebrating of lives that were cut way too short far away from home.
Our neighbors and friends and even people we've never met open their arms up and embrace us when need it the most.