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Talking it over -- 1-13-11

It is difficult to accept death but even more so when you lose someone young. Our communities, along with many friends and relatives, have been rocked by the loss of our friend, Jon Burns, and even more so as we struggle to understand and accept.

I want to take the time in this column to remember Jon, a young man who spent many, many hours at our home. Jon grew up in the neighborhood and was good friends with our daughter, Tammy. In fact the children in our part of town formed a fast and strong friendship early on in their lives and it has stayed with them throughout.

Tammy and Jon along with several other young boys and girls would often gather in the grove of trees located behind our church near the Stettner home across the street from us. They would build forts, climb in the trees, play flashlight tag, and just hang out together. If you needed to find one of the kids you simply had to look there or at one of their homes where you would usually find several of them together.

As I said, this bond continued throughout their lives. The boys were soon busy with their baseball, basketball and football ventures with the girls following along to cheer them on. Jon was a wonderful athlete and along with his many friends, they participated in several tournaments and even played at the state level. It was so fun to watch them and follow their progress.

When they were not busy in sports the kids still did things together. They went to movies together, out to eat, or just hung out at each others homes. Even when it came to vacations, they often went together. Jon came along with a group of us on a couple of our weekend trips up north and we have some great memories of the kids having fun together.

As is often the case, after graduation you don't see some your children's friends quite as often. However, whenever we ran into Jon he was so kind and friendly. I was always pleased to hear that the kids took the time to continue to be together whenever their busy schedules would allow.

This has been a difficult time, not only for his family, but the many friends he left behind. I was encouraged to hear that many of his childhood friends gathered together over the weekend to remember Jon and share stories.

These are the special things that will help them get through this time of mourning. Being there for each other and remembering the joy that this special young man brought into their lives. Joy and lots of memories that nothing can ever take away.