It's OK to be sad today. And frustrated.
And downright angry.
The headlines that far too often have made us numb to outrages and left us shrugging more than shuddering feel like a never-ending river of negativity.
Today, though, feels different.
Today reminds a lot of us who watch "The Andy Griffith Show" reruns why our parents longed for the "good-ol' days" and why nostalgia is only close to negativity in the dictionary.
Headline 1: The awful news that a fourth grader in our community allegedly took his life. The death of any child is a tragedy.
This is undeniably heartbreaking, but the ripples of this are undeniable, too. No matter how many different times the gaggle of elected officials at the Hamilton County Commission on Wednesday said they did not want to politicize this tragedy, spending that much time discussing it in a very political forum does just that.
My prayers are with that boy's family.
Headline 2: Two shysters pulled a con job in desperate Bledsoe County, Tennessee.
The rural county always in need of jobs bent over backward for two brothers who promised to build a textile plant in Pikeville and create close to 1,000 jobs.
Instead, they collected the matching funds, defrauded the Tennessee Valley Authority and collected millions in criminal gains. Here's hoping the good folks in Bledsoe make Karim and Rahim Sadruddin do hard time in a small room.
Headline 3: Speaking of the criminal stuff that makes you shake your head and say a silent prayer, did you see the news that two cars were stolen downtown over the weekend?
Granted, just two felonies over a weekend these days in downtown Chattanooga would be a day that even Barney Fife would cherish.
Nope, these two vehicles were stolen — wait for it — from the Austin Hatcher Foundation.
Yes, stealing from a charity that works tirelessly to help kids with cancer and their families.
Imagine that for a second.
Here are the details posted on the GoFundMe.com page started to try to generate enough money to replace the vehicles sooner rather than later:
"It is with great sadness that we announce the theft of our two industrial arts therapy build vehicles, the 2018 Ford Explorer Sport and 2019 Rugged Ridge Baja (built on a 2018 Jeep Wrangler). These vehicles were stolen over the weekend (10/19-10/20) from the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer's new Education Advancement Center located at 1601 S. Holtzclaw Ave., which is currently under construction.
In addition to stealing the vehicles, the foundation's trailer was destroyed, a number of vehicle parts were found damaged, and the fence was torn through."
Dear Lord, what are we doing? Seriously?
Just shameful by every measure, and while the eternal price those heartless thieves will pay is horrifying, the act is simply unacceptable.
In addition to those vehicles being important to the work the Austin Hatcher Foundation does locally, the two SUVs were built and rebuilt "by pediatric cancer patients and their families as part of the foundation's therapy and recovery program," according to the released statement.
Those vehicles were going to be auctioned in a few months, as well.
"We are devastated to lose this funding opportunity," the foundation's website post looking for donations read, "but we are even more heartbroken to face the fact that someone stole these vehicles that our patients and families put so much hard work into."
If you have any information about the location of these vehicles, please call the Chattanooga Police Department at 423-698-2525.
Put me down for $100.
And may God help us all.
Contact Jay Greeson at email@example.com.