Dear Speers Family,

I don’t know you. I have never met you but I know your names. I have seen pictures of you. I have cried over the loss of you. The tragedy of your death has affected me. The loss of your lives has hit me very hard. Mike, Michelle, Elli, Addalin, Emma, and Anniston, you will be missed. Greatly. Your family and friends will mourn and grieve for you always. You are loved. Your smiles and laughter will be yearned for.

 I want you to know that immediately after the news broke out of the fire, your community banded together. Coming forth to serve food and water to the firefighters who worked and labored to save you. Volunteer firefighters who came from their beds in the night to fight for your lives. Many knew you and called you friends. And they couldn’t do anything to help you. They grieved for you then while they watched the fire blaze. Already your friends are finding ways to remember you. A Pink Out on Halloween is in works. Neighbors, friends, children trick-or-treating will light up the night with pink glow sticks, house lights, and the town. For your little girls. To honor you and your family. Your neighbors are grieving but want to make a difference. They want to help. 

I don’t believe this will be the end of these events either. I have a feeling the community will continue to find ways to love and honor you years after you have been gone. Because you were so loved. The joy you had for your family and friends is being talked about. Your love for the outdoors and sports. How your girls loved your new home. One you just moved into a month ago because you had a dream of raising your family in the country. A farm in Nebraska with all 52 of the chickens you were raising. I have heard and read that you were just the nicest family. The sweetest girls.

And now you are all together in heaven. I believe there is peace in that. Family is leaning on that. The perpetual light is now shining on you always. I am crying as I write this, because I am so sad that you had to go. That your family will not experience proms, weddings, and grandbabies. That my friend who loves you will not get to make more memories with you. Her sons will no longer play with your daughters.

God is holding you all in His loving arms. You are home. You will be missed. You are so loved.

I held my sons a little tighter last night. I lay with them until sleep came. And I prayed for you. I prayed for your family and friends. There are many people who are reading the news and doing the same thing. Praying when words cannot be said. The State of Nebraska is grieving you. 

I want to help spread the word. I will be wearing pink. My sons will have pink glow sticks around their neck for your little girls. The love for the six of you will light up the world.

You will never be forgotten. You will be remembered not for how you all tragically died, but for how you lived. Full of life, love, and family. 

Read the full story in the Omaha World Herald

Katie Weber

A momma of 2 young boys whose days are filled with wrestling, running, and noise. A Nebraska native with a love of coffee, the Lord, music, a good romance novel, movies, and dessert. Just trying to figure out single motherhood, to navigate divorce and co-parenting, to live and thrive with depression and anxiety, all the while finding the lovely in this life. Follow along for more at Lovely in the Dark.