- Leslie Goss
When Tragedy Strikes
The past week rocked our community and sent ripples of heartache far beyond the
borders of White County.
Indiana State Police officer Stephanie Thompson and 17-year-old daughter and Twin
Lakes swimmer Mya Thompson perished in a tragic house fire. Compounding the anguish,
husband and father Jason was out of state and daughter/sister Ayanna away at college at the time.
So many unanswered questions. Such overwhelming sorrow. Indescribable emptiness.
Anger. Fear. Pain that has no words.
Despite our most fervent prayers, nothing will bring these two outstanding people back to us.
But look around. How has greater White County responded? With love, compassion,
support, and commitment. With the very best of what community has to offer.
At a candlelight vigil held Sunday evening, Stephanie and Mya were remembered as
loving family members, passionate leaders, joyful and compassionate friends, and women of
strong faith. The vigil overflowed with tears...and hugs...and families holding on to each other just a little bit tighter.
Tragedy has a way of reminding us of how fragile life can be – but also of the many
opportunities we have to make a difference in our world.
Stephanie and Mya’s lives ended much too early. Just as other families who have
experienced tragic loss, their family and friends are now drawn into a circle of heartache they
never would have chosen to join. However, they also are part of a much bigger circle -- a circle of community that has chosen to honor these two lives with encompassing love and support.
In their memory, a fund is being established here at the Community Foundation. Gifts
should be made out to the Community Foundation of White County, noting Thompson in the memo line. And because this will be a permanent endowment, Stephanie and Mya will continue to touch the future for generations to come.
Even if you never knew Stephanie or Mya personally, their legacies are now part of our
greater community’s story. As your Community Foundation of White County, we challenge
people to consider, “What’s Your Legacy?” From the many stories shared, Stephanie and Mya left legacies of joy, talent, precious friendship, and commitment. May each of us share the same, with each other and our community.