First and foremost, I want to extend my deepest sympathy to the Kreikemeier family and the Schmader family for the loss of an amazing young lady, Halle Kreikemeier.

Occasionally I am asked what’s the favorite part about my job. And without a doubt, it is the kids of the community.

Doing what I do, I am blessed with the opportunity to watch kids learn, grow and succeed. Even after their school years are over, it’s amazing to see what they accomplish in their next stages of life.

You become attached to those kids. It’s almost like they become a second family for you. For that reason, trying to cope with the passing of Halle has been an extremely difficult process.

It’s absolutely devastating and heartbreaking to lose someone so young, so special.

A couple days after the accident, I was talking with a relative of Halle. He expressed many of the emotions so many had been dealing with.

The shock and grief of losing a young lady beloved by all. The frustration and anger for God allowing a tragedy like this to happen. The agony of all the ‘what could have been’ and ‘what should have been.’

But there was a little bit of comfort by what was said next. He told me we can’t dwell on the things that can’t be controlled; we just have to celebrate her life for what it was.

And while Halle’s life was cut far too short, her 18 years on this earth were incredible.

For those who knew Halle, she was kind and joyful with a heart of gold; and a smile that would light up any room. Just a beautiful young lady in so many ways.

One Halle story that was shared to me recently showed just how impactful she was, and how many lives she actually touched.

A GACC elementary student shared that not only would Halle say ‘hi’ to her when passing by, but tell her hello by name.

I don’t know if Halle knew how big of a deal this was; it was just Halle being who she was. But it was those small acts of kindness that made Halle so special.

If we could all live life like Halle, this world would be a wonderful place.

The pain will never fully go away for the many people who loved Halle, but celebrating her life will hopefully provide some comfort. And knowing God gained the most precious angel possible when He called Halle home.