Members of Calvary Baptist Church say, the church was like a second home to the Watson family, so it was the right place to gather.
Every seat was full, people were spilling over into the hallways and side rooms of the church, that was the environment inside the vigil. Close friends and family say goodbye to their loved ones.
Inside the walls of Calvary Baptist Church singing, and celebration, are replaced with candle light, and tears. Tragedy is what brings everyone together. "It's going to be devastating, but we all know where they are now. They are in a better place," says Ashlye Cascey.
At just thirteen years old, Gracie Wilson, now copes with the loss of her friend. "She always wore scarves to church, she was really pretty, and she was one of my good friends," says Wilson. Her friend was just one of the eight children who died in the Thursday morning house fire, alongside their mother. "We're going to miss them, but they will never be forgotten," says Cascey.
Every Sunday, Chad Watson, wife LaRae (also known as Nikki in her community), and their nine children would fill a pew. Now, nine white candles sit in their place. Two of the candles are blue, representing Chad and his daughter Kylie, who were the only two survivors. "Tragedy always makes people come close together, and I hope something good will come out of this," says Cascey.
Candles burn out, but the memories of the Watson family will not to people like Phyliss, who watched the family grow up. "I personally, will never get over this." She says Sunday mornings will never be the same. "I have to come to church, and not see their little faces greeting me."
The say goodbye as a community hoping to walking away a stronger one. "You never know what's going to happen tomorrow. There may have been someone who wanted to say something to Chad and his family, but it's too late to say that to some of them. So, if you love someone, and you care about them, let them know that."
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