by Joe B. Coates
The front page of this week’s paper is one bearing tidings of sadness and hurt, which have dominated Copiah County news over the past few days. We do not enjoy in the least bit reporting such news as the loss of human lives, especially the loss of a young child for any reason. Our duty as your community newspaper would not be fulfilled if we did not, however.
Rarely do we include an obituary on our front page, but the death of one of Copiah County’s favorite figures, favorite personalities is front page news. Shag Pyron who passed this weekend at age 79, has been an important part of Copiah County business and industry for a long time. His contributions to those facets of our communities, his faithfulness to his fine family and his eagerness to help others are just some examples of his life, which was well lived.
Each time I saw him–whether here at the office, out getting groceries or filling up his car before driving Mrs.. Carlene to dinner, Shags’s favorite topic of conversation was Mississippi State athletics, and more specifically, MSU football. He truly loved the Bulldogs–win or lose–and I believe that in his place in heaven a shiny new golden cowbell awaits him on the mantle.
Simply put, Shag was a good man, a good friend and a good person to know. He is already dearly missed. His family will find strength in each other, in their friends, in their faith and in their memories of him to carry on.
I did not know eight-year-old Robbie Melton of Georgetown, who died tragically after injuries received from a fire at his home this weekend. It doesn’t matter–it still hurts. Robbie is just one year younger than one of my sons and, undoubtedly, was full of vigor, energy and life.
A letter which notes the inevitable questions of ‘Why him?’ and ‘Why now’ is printed below, expressing in a few words what Robbie’s family is experiencing right now and will be in the future. One can only imagine what it must be like, and one can never truly understand or even really find the answers to those questions. Like in the case above, the family of Robbie Melton will eventually carry on by finding strength in each other, in friends, in their faith and in their memories of Robbie’s life.
The loss of a human life–one like Shag’s that was long, fruitful and included many adventures, or one like Robbie’s that was cut off too short, but nonetheless as impactful–always leaves a hole in the souls of those still living. We counter it by leaning on each other, sharing sweet memories and making our hearts available for those immediately affected. Life, eventually, goes on, even though the pain exists.
Our hearts go out to these two families.