From adversity comes wisdom, perhaps, but for Michael Finch and his sister Ellen Finch, adversity came early in life and wisdom came from their parents.
Their mother, Wanda, 56, died Jan. 17 after a brief bout with cancer. Just 47 days later, their father, Charles “Mike” Finch, died unexpectedly March 6 at the age of 62.
As enormous as the losses and the void their deaths created, Michael, 19, and Ellen, 18, learned they were not alone.
They have gracefully faced every challenge with help from the community of Norwalk, and from the Owens Community College baseball team for which Michael plays.
Though 2014 changed everything for the brother and sister, they have proceeded toward the goals their parents instilled in them, and they've inspired a community with their courage.
“No matter what is thrown at you in baseball, you have to learn to sit back and hit it,” Michael told the Register, for a story about the family's tragedy and his and Ellen's triumphs forging ahead, honoring their parents.
Local residents, friends and family have helped Michael and Ellen see paths forward for their futures in a shining example of community.
One parent of an OCC teammate recently set up a fund to help both Michael and Ellen pay future college tuitions.
These teenagers are inspiring, and so is the support they have received. It's good to see the community can step up when stepping up is what's needed.