This past weekend I had one of the most somber and sobering experiences of my life. Unfortunately, It was attending the funeral of my friends’ 14-year-old daughter. Her name was Robynn Milton-Potter and she is the daughter of Donnie and Joy Potter.
Now the irony of this is that I have known Donnie and his brother Jamie since they were about 14 years old, and I couldn’t help but think about just how far we have all come since those days on the football field at Marshall Jr. High School.
So as I sat there in the funeral listening to the wonderful stories of this incredible young woman’s life with so much potential and promise I could not help but hurt and cry (yes cry) just thinking about how short life truly is, and how you just never know how life is going to play out for you and those you love. I put myself in the shoes of her family and I just broke down. I guess some of it is the parallels of this little girl’s life as it relates to my own 14 year old daughter’s life. As I listened to the stories and tributes of Robynn’s life I could not help but think of my own experiences with my own children and then I realized how similar but, how at that very moment how drastically different all of these lives are.
I sat around on Mothers Day and I had to say a special prayer for Joy, who was experiencing Mothers Day in such a different way than she had ever experienced it before. In a way I am certain two weeks ago she could not have even imagined.
I have said this before and I will certainly say it again. It is my truest belief “that parents are never supposed to bury their children, children are always suppose to bury their parents.” But I also know that when God has a different plan, there is only one thing we can do, and that is submit to his will because it is not ours to question or understand.
Now, I really don’t know why I am sharing this with you, but sharing this story with all of you in the Sentinel Family has been on my heart since I left the funeral. Maybe, this is my own therapy, or maybe it is because I just don’t know what else to say about this situation. But, I do believe it is for a greater reason, because I want to encourage all of you to talk to your children. Listen to them, and try and understand their perspective on life.
But most importantly, give them a hug and tell them you love them, because what I saw and the message I received this weekend is that tomorrow is not promised and when tragedies like the passing of a loved one occurs, the only solace you may find is the peace and comfort of knowing you spent quality time with them when they were here on earth and knowing that they knew how much you loved them and how much they meant to you.
Lastly, please say a special prayer for both the Milton and Potter Families, the pain they are experiencing right now is a pain that I cannot imagine, and I hope and pray none of us will ever have to experience.
So, whether you agree or disagree, I need and want your input. I need to hear from you. I need to know what is going on in our community. I also need to know what other stories we need to tell, and what is on your mind. I really do want to hear from you, I want you to “Talk to Danny.”
God Bless You,
Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.
President & Executive Editor