Tuesday was not a good day. The Augusta Gazette family was touched by tragedy.
Tuesday was not a good day.
The Augusta Gazette family was touched by tragedy.
In journalism, a good portion of your career is immersed in tragedy.
Fires, car accidents, and violent crimes become part of your status quo. They are what people are talking about. They are the news.
But, most importantly, they happen to other people.
Tuesday it happened to us. We lost Gail.
Our bookkeeper, Gail Graham, was on her way to work when a truck carrying rock could not stop for a red light and crushed her car and claimed her life.
She came to the Gazette after Christmas last year. She was only here about 100 days.
In those 100 days, she had mastered her job and made life better for everyone on our staff. Her Dallas Cowboys had a good season, and she was really enjoying this season of "American Idol." She loved her car and the people at Parks of Augusta who took such good care of her.
She was a beloved wife, daughter, mother, grandmother and friend.
She told her daughter Kristy how happy she was with her new job. She and her husband, Frank, completed the sale of their home last week, and they were in the beginning stages of building their dream home.
All that changed in an instant Tuesday morning.
Is it fair? Why did God let this happen? What do we do now?
These are all good questions and far too profound for me to answer.
The Gazette family is left to try to pick up the pieces and fill the hole that the accident left in our office and in our hearts.
We were forced to feel the shock we normally only observe. It reminded me of a quote I once heard, "To be a better journalist you have to be a better person."
Not many of you got to know Gail.
She didn't write stories or take photos. Unless one of us messed something up that she had to fix, you likely never even spoke to her on the phone.
It was your loss.
She was a wonderful woman and could never be replaced.
But our ship of faith is anchored by God.
To know the true value of the anchor, you have to feel the force of the storm.
We know the ferocity of the storm and the power of the anchor.
We'll miss Gail, but we'll carry on, because she would have wanted it that way.
Please keep Gail's family - both at home and here at the Gazette - in your thoughts and prayers in our time of great loss.