Editor's notes: Bonds, what are the ties that bind?
Surely one is love. Love has been in abundance these past two months. The original six miners families plus the three rescuers families have all bonded in a way that is unbreakable. The heartache they have shared has in some ways been lessened because they shared it together. They each know the pain shared by the others because they too are feeling that same pain.
The roller coaster ride has stopped. The highs, the lows, the not knowing, the still not knowing, the agonies, the memorial services have come and gone, but this bond will remain forever. If they see each other on the street, the store, at church, anywhere, there is a connectivity that will never go away. A shared memory brought to the surface just by being together.
Nine families who will heal in time. Nine families who can always seek comfort with each other. Shared pain is somehow eased as it is shared. Pain is meant to be shared. We cannot go on alone. Nor are we meant to. Remember the good times, they will sustain you in the coming days.
Remember the laughter, remember that you are a better person because you knew and loved these coal miners. As time goes by, no one will soon forget those who perished on Aug. 6 and Aug. 16.
It is amazing to me how as I attended each of the funerals how much these men loved and were loved. How important each one of us is in the lives of others.
Another thing that came through at each of the funerals was humor. Tiffani at Kerry Allred's funeral said how much her dad hated funerals. "He even found a way to avoid attending his own," she quipped.
To find the humor in all situations and to let the humor help comfort you is a blessing. There is much to remember with happiness. There is much to forget of the pain of these last weeks.
Let us never forget the love and happiness the lives of these men brought. Let this memory and their head lamps shine on forever.