Amongst Heartbreak, Woman Pens Beautiful Words About Maine Residents
It's difficult to see any good right now.
We're currently in the middle of a situation none of us ever expected to be in. Sure, we constantly hear stories about tragedies and mass shootings across the country, where unfortunately many lives are lost and many families are forever changed at the blink of an eye.
But that's across the country. That's not here. That's not us. Not Maine. Never Maine.
Unfortunately, "never" came to Maine around 7 p.m. on Wednesday night, October 25, when suspected shooter Robert Card opened fire at two beloved Lewiston businesses, forever changing Mainers' lives by permanently fracturing families, and quite possibly forever changing the landscape of Maine overall while stealing its innocence.
And now, all we seem to be left with is heartache, heartbreak, confusion, loss, fear, anger, frustration, and quite possibly a bit of hopelessness.
There are questions that also remain: Will Robert Card will ever be found? When will the manhunt end so we can attempt to heal? Will we ever even be the same again?
While there are cries of "Lewiston Strong" and New England is rallying around Maine, both in the form of everyday residents as well as professional sports teams like the Boston Bruins, again -- it's difficult to see any good right now.
And that's where the reminder of exactly who we are, where we are, and what we're all about -- beautifully written on Facebook by Mainer Kristen Leclerc Guay -- comes into play.
Here is what she wrote in full in her Facebook post:
Majestic, beautiful, glorious Maine.
We live here not because it’s the most convenient, or because there is an abundance of opportunity for great success…
In fact, it’s the opposite, really. It takes forever to get anywhere, and don’t get us started on the weather…or, please do because we secretly love to talk about it, argue and complain about it….
We live here because our hearts are here. We are Mainers.
We live here because even though Maine is ‘YUGE,’ if someone asks, “Do you know ‘So and So’ from whatever town you’ve said you’re from, chances are we do know ‘em.
We live here because we can live through blizzards and freezing temperatures every year, and won’t hesitate to help shovel out our neighbors or push strangers cars out of snow banks…even if we are wearing pajamas and slippers…Mainers.
We wear shorts until it snows and roll our windows down as soon as we hit 40 degrees in April…a tough breed, if you will.
We think you’re weird if you don’t like Lobster or if you’ve never heard of Fluff…but we’ll talk to strangers like we’ve known them forever, hold the door and wish them a good day…
When anyone from outside of Maine asks where we are from, we just say, ‘Portland’ because, well…you know.
We live here. We love here. We know each other and love each other. Mainers.
We wanted to think that this could or would never happen here.
We are blindsided today.
We are stunned, scared, confused, sad, pissed, worried and feeling all of it.
But we are feeling it together.
Our eyes have been cruelly opened and our magnificent state is forever changed.
But we have not changed. Our Mainer hearts are still beating together.
We need each other more today than maybe ever before.
None of us are alone, you are not alone.
Reach out to neighbors today, help whomever needs it. Keep your pajamas and slippers on if you want, grab a Dunks and be a Mainer.
Pray and send positive thoughts to the victims, thank law enforcement, first responders and healthcare workers. Give blood.
When the dust settles and the devastation lessens in time, we will all still have each other. And together we will be ok again…
We are Lewiston Strong.
We are 207 Strong.
We are freakin' MAINERS.
Shooting in Lewiston 10/25/23
Gallery Credit: Dan Alexander