When all seems lost in the world and the rottenness rears its ugly head the community of Poway steps up to the challenge and shows its grace and poise.
The city of Poway is no stranger to adversity. When California was on fire Poway claimed the lion share of the destruction. Neighbors helped neighbors, there wasn’t much of a need with shelters as residents brought supplies, opened up their homes and made the best of the difficult times.
Today, the city recovered a bright young teenager with a lifetime of experiences ahead of her. The community she called home came out by the thousands to show their solidarity with her family.
St. Michaels Catholic Church was another place Chelsea called home and at the candle light vigil -family, friends and strangers gathered to remember the light that Chelsea King represented and mourn that extinguished light whose life was cut short.
Chelsea had a loving family complete with all the teenage silliness girls possess. Her friends talked about her “quirkiness” they would no longer be a part of. They talked about the friend that would brighten their day even if it weren’t a good day.
Chelsea’s peer sister explained that all the kids at school wore orange today – “she is the epitome of orange.” Another friend said they wore blue yesterday “they were sad.”
“Now we all wear orange searching for our Nemo in a ocean of blue,” Chelsea’s cadre of friends said.
The family who endured the wretchedness of the past six days, still found the grace to thank the thousands of well wishers, volunteers and friends who will ultimately carry the burden of consoling a family that had a daughter, a sister and a friend stolen from them.
“She will be my angel forever. Thank you everyone who helped search and who will now help us heal. Keep her alive for us, we love all of you, we love all of you,” her father Brent King said at the candle light vigil.
The St. Michaels Catholic Church priest had a few words to say about Chelsea as well. “You all will face three challenges. Your faith has been challenged tonight, your hope has been challenged tonight and your love has been challenged tonight. It’s okay to feel the hurt and the pain. It’s the gift of God that is with us and will help us through.”
Once the final words were spoken, the community walked slowly along Pomerado Road, their path was guided by candlelight and the procession stretched for a few miles.
As the lights dimmed, a large full moon rose in the sky and it felt like Chelsea was radiating all the love she had left to give, smiling downward one last time before she took her place next to the angels.
For now Poway is left to mourn a senseless tragedy, a crime committed by a coward who stalked his victim and showed no respect or remorse for the preciousness that Chelsea embodied. Rest peacefully, Chelsea, you will not be forgotten.
For the traditional news story; http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner~y2010m3d2-Missing-teenager-highlights-sexual-predators--law-enforcement-concerns