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Prayers for families in grief journey

| November 23, 2022 1:00 AM

We’re tuned into and aware of thankfulness as Thanksgiving nears … for the little things, the big things and all of the things in between that count as blessings. For three decades, I’ve rarely asked anything of the readers of this column, but this week I’m humbly asking for your prayers, grace and love for some families in our communities who are experiencing levels of loss that defy what we could ever imagine.

It’s impossible not to take the stunningly horrible murders of four young students at the U of I personally. Whether you knew Xana, Kaylee, Maddie or Ethan, their families or their friends, the evil that came in the middle of the night is close to home. A murderer is still out there, likely close by. While the regional, national and even international media are covering this story, it’s different when it’s local. It’s not just a story, it’s real people … neighbors, co-workers who are us, our community.

The loss of these four friends and the trauma for their two surviving roommates is forever. Life for anyone touched by this tragedy is forever changed. Innocence lost.

It’s my hope that the Kernodle, Goncalves, Mogen and Chapin families can feel the love that their communities have for them all, and be lifted by it.

And a prayer for the first responders and those who protect and serve and are working around the clock to find the person responsible and bring him to justice as quickly as possible.

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“Idaho State Police are investigating a two-vehicle head-on collision that occurred Friday, Nov. 18, at approximately 5:31 p.m., on U.S. 95 near milepost 423 in Kootenai County.

"A Subaru Legacy with three adult occupants, female driver age 30, male passenger age 32, and female passenger age 62, were traveling southbound. A Ford F550 commercial vehicle with one occupant, male driver age 37, was traveling northbound. The Ford F550 left the northbound lanes and traveled into the southbound lanes. The two vehicles collided head-on in the southbound lanes. The three occupants in the Subaru Legacy were pronounced deceased on scene.”

While press releases by design are statements of detailed fact, the untold depth of the tragedy of this crash is profound. The Subaru’s 30-year-old driver, Megan Stoddard, was due to give birth in a few weeks, and the passengers were her husband, Cody Stoddard, and her mother, Crystal Jensen, of Post Falls. Three generations of a family gone in an instant. The grief journey for their families is beyond comprehension.

As we gather around the Thanksgiving table with family Thursday, remember all of these heartbroken families in our prayers that they may know a sliver of peace.

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Random holiday week musings … As I demonstrate every year since I was a little girl, and now to the delight or embarrassment of my daughters and grandsons, you are never too old to stick black olives on your fingers at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

It's Thanksgiving eve and there are two categories of people today; those who are packing and those who are cooking.

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As the holiday shopping begins in earnest on Friday, step away from the computer and support our local businesses who are here for the community throughout the year. Be kind and patient with those front-line people at stores and restaurants. Ho! Ho! Ho!

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Happy birthday today to David Eachon, his daughter Dana Ortega, Dennis Hall, Dee Dee Morris, Julia Hopkins, Ronda Mitchell, Stephanie Morrison, Tim Williams and Carol Daniels. Tomorrow we’re thankful for Thanksgiving Day birthday celebrants Mike Jarrett, Jeff Morrison, Lisa Black, Jesse Gunderson, Debbie Magnuson, Mike Lindquist and Eric Knudtsen. On Friday Aniyah Colbert, John Cocoran, Sue Thilo, Nelda House, Sue Servick, Kelly Westover, Buck Wilhelm and Babette Banducci blow out the candles. Saturday birthdays are Tom Torgerson, Marilyn Fisher, Elijah Ott, Danell Phelps and Sandy Osburn. On Sunday Rocky Shaver, Sue Hutter and Bob Eachon will celebrate. Katie King, Cody and Tristan Webb, Breanna Joyner and Judy Dahl will share Monday birthdays. On Nov. 29 Carol Ann Eachon and Jodine Spry are the birthday girls.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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