OPINION

When It Happens

Paul Richardson
Guest Columnist

I need to write. I need to write this column, but I just don’t feel like it. Kevin Wilson passed away last night.

There are several levels of association in my life. Not everyone I meet is a friend. That’s just the way it is. There are people I don’t know and will never know, people I recognize in passing, acquaintances that I have an association with through work or community contact, people that have graduated to the friend level, those who are like family, brothers if you will, and family, those people you can’t shake no matter what.

Kevin was moving into that friend level. I met Kevin five years ago through an introduction by Troy Royer. I knew his name in passing but since I didn’t live in his district, he never showed up on my ballot. While I always vote, I am not politically active within the local political structures. Kevin initially took me on a tour of the water restoration systems at Simmons Poultry plant at Southwest City. Shortly after that I began attending the meetings of the Neosho Exchange Club, which Kevin was a member of, and that association continued to the present. We were not on the level where him and his spouse were going to dinner with me and the goodwife, we were moving up the scale and into new levels of association.

Every minute of every day, someone, somewhere, loses people that are close to them or are in one of the more intimate areas of association. When it is a well-know or prominent community personality, the impact is felt across a wider spectrum. Although these losses occur with a rapid frequency, we have the tendency to believe that these will never happen to us. When they are close, we are always at a loss on what to do next. Condolences are offered and many words that extend love, feelings, and prayers are offered. These are just words, and the family is always so gracious, but we never want our words to be superficial. We want them to be more, we want them to fix things, but they can’t.

While I don’t like writing today and specifically this column, these words are placed here to honor the memory of our cherished community member. This is to remind the family and those close friends, that while they are in grief, that we as a community will do all that we can to help them through this process.

To the memory of Kevin Wilson, these words are to your family, “We know that Kevin was loved by you and will be missed. We are here with you in that pain. To us in the community, we seen a man that was involved, in his church, in politics, in civic commitment, in service. That will be missed because no one can take his place. Others may come and stand in these areas that were such a part of his life, but he will not be replaced, just missed.”

Thank you, Kevin Wilson, and may your eternity be blessed!