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A Gift to Never Forget – A Rainbow Connection

February 18, 2012

I held an emergency service Christmas party eight months after starting as the Emergency Service Director for Stafford County. All the firefighters and ambulance attendants from throughout the county were invited. Practically nobody showed up.

What I didn’t know then was folks in some parts of Stafford County don’t care too much for folks in other parts of Stafford County. Like most dislikes, often the reason for the dislike is long forgotten, yet tightly maintained.

Attaining county-wide unity in Stafford County has truly been the greatest challenge of my thirty-four year career. And then a mere child accomplished what I couldn’t.

Her name was Brynlin Sanders.

Little Brynlin was four years old and suffered from an inoperable brain tumor. And from the moment her condition was diagnosed, until the day she died several days ago, she brought unity – somewhat of a Rainbow Connection – to Stafford County.

Two events displayed this unity.

The first event was a fund raiser. Over six hundred people from Stafford County and beyond attended a dinner and auction that raised money for Brynlin’s treatment. The one night event tallied over $50,000.

And then there was the funeral. Hundreds packed the church to say their goodbyes. St. John News Editor Terry Spradley called Brynlin the – Daughter of the County – because of the love she generated with many who didn’t even know her personally. I was in that category.

A family member spoke at the funeral about the gift that Brynlin gave us – the Gift of Unity. What I fear is that many didn’t grasp the speaker’s words. They came together, but they didn’t recognize the gift for its greatness – a county-wide unification never before seen.

And, I fear that people won’t maintain that togetherness.

I challenge every Stafford County resident to never, never, never forget the gift you were given. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for Brynlin.

Thank you Brynlin for the Gift – A Rainbow Connection.

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