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Gone too soon

Many times when a tragedy occurs, most of us question why the event occurred or why someone’s life was cut so short. I am pretty sure that none of us will ever have the answers we seek this side of eternity, but we try to understand why things happen as they do, especially to someone who had so much to offer and so much to give; how the life of such a good person was over so suddenly.

Sunday evening many, many folks gathered to remember a life that was over much too soon. Those in attendance included family, co-workers, players on teams she coached and friends. Those in attendance turned out to honor and show their love for Robin Halbrooks Riley. While it would be hard to count the number at the candlelight vigil held on the field where Robin had coached, most estimates were over 350 people, included in that count were here 7 month old daughter Madison.

As words were spoken about Robin, her husband Joey, her children, Trey, Justice and Madison, her parents Bobby and Brenda, and her players could so easily feel how much she was loved by all of these folks, and how much she loved them in return. I am not sure if there were any dry eyes present during this Sunday evening as the sun was setting on the field.

The event was brought together to honor Robin and also to bring together those whose lives she had touched in the short time she spent here on earth. All who spoke talked about how she loved her family, her players and her. Perhaps by gathering together, those who knew and loved Robin could remember the good times, share the grief they now were experiencing and honor the life Robin had lived.

While no words could ever fill the void that her passing has brought or the hurt those who loved her are feeling, one thing that rang true as Kyle Woodard spoke, was Robin’s faith that sustained her in her life and carried her into the eternal life that she entered Saturday morning, the same faith that we as believers hold true, that we will see her again.

The words of this song seemed to always bring healing thoughts just as it did Sunday evening:

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,

Because He lives all fear is gone,

Because I know He holds the future,

And Life is worth the living,

Just because He lives.

Robin’s life was short here on earth but she left her mark on all who knew her.

Prayers will be said for her husband, children, parents and friends and for God’s comfort and peace in their lives as they move forward.

Randy Garrison is the president and publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer.