At times like these, as a good man is laid to rest, words aren't enough.
As writers, we have plenty of words. We can write story after story, using our craft to detail thoughts and emotions, giving the reader the briefest of glimpses to see what has happened in the community we all live in.
But when someone is taken from us, someone who lived their life professionally and personally to make the world a better place for everyone, words become difficult.
Hands - my hands- still.
They wait, paused above the computer keyboard, as I stare at an empty computer screen.
I could use the words "senseless" or "tragedy," but it's not enough. Those words don't convey who Sgt. Gary Morales was, just how he was taken away from his family, from this community.
I could use the words "dedicated" or "respected," but those fall short as well, because they only show how others saw him.
There are no words to explain the joy that surrounded him when he was with his family and friends.
There are no words to convey the intensity of attention he would give adults and children alike, as he listened to issues large and small without judging.
And there are no words for the loss this community feels as they say goodbye to someone who can only be described as a hero.
The only words I can say is "Thank you."
Thank you for your service, Sgt. Morales. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of everyone you touched with your words and actions.
You will be missed.
Dawn Krebs is the managing editor of the Hometown News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org