It's been a rough week.
Tuesday's paper was not easy to write or read.
It included stories of three deaths and two fires -- one that displaced 26 residents and another that put a popular dining establishment out of business, while displacing the manager and affecting the employees' income.
Usually, there is at least a glimmer of good, local news on the front page -- and we pride ourselves on that -- but, Tuesday, there just was not room.
Hopefully, readers found their way to the B section, which featured highlights from Flagfest and weekend sports. Wins and grins on those few pages did little to lift spirits following a debilitating series of events.
All of the above is uncharacteristic of this newspaper.
Even those with decades of newspaper experience have said they've never seen anything like it, in terms of depressing local news.
Thankfully, it's not the norm.
On most days, we enjoy coming to work, and leave just as satisfied.
Last Wednesday, the latter was not the case.
When a call regarding a potential drowning at the aquatic center came across the scanner, our hearts dropped. "That sort of thing doesn't happen in Spencer," we thought to ourselves. For years, that had been the case, and hopefully that will be the case for years to come.
But Wednesday afternoon brought on crisis mode and a difficult story to write. We didn't know much about the victim, other than his age and critical condition. The more we learned, the more we dreaded worse news, while still hoping and praying for a miracle.
That miracle came, but not in the form we expected, when Michael Rohan passed and his viable organs were donated to give and improve life for others. The family noted on their Caring Bridge website that the decision gave them peace, and I pray that peace which surpasses all understanding continues to fall on that family and everyone affected by all the tragedies of the past eight days.
While the bad news has been abundant, it has also proven that good news exists in this community. Good news is the norm here, and that's due to the positive spirit and can-do attitude of this close-knit community, which generally overpowers any negative influences.
I look forward to getting back to that kind of news this week.