"No stoplights, no hockey team, no movie theater and certainly no Target." Coming from a small town myself, I can totally relate to every word this blogger had to say about growing up in a small Minnesota community, like Blooming Prairie.

I came from a town of 1,100 (and that's probably being generous) called Truman, but I still knew almost everybody there - and they all knew me. When your parents both teach, and in my dad's case the Athletic Director and head boys basketball coach at the local high school, you're pretty much in the public eye all the time. Much like Marissa Noble describes, I too couldn't wait to graduate and move away and start a new life in a "bigger city".

But when she talks about all the things that are so great about these small farm communities, especially when tragedy strikes, you begin to realize how special they really are.

Blooming Prairie Elementary School/Used with permission

In her blog, she describes the recent pain and heartache felt by her home town after a horrible accident, where they've lost two people already, and continue to have a young man staying as strong as he can after losing his mother and sister, all while having to fight for his own life.

Yesterday, Blooming Prairie Schools were closed so they could pay respects to one of their own. I gesture that was certainly called for considering so many would try to attend the funeral and pay their respects.

It's times like these you truly appreciate where you've come from, because you realize it's those same people that's helped raise you into the person you've become. I know several people from Blooming Prairie, and I'm proud to call many of them friends. Others, family. They're a solid community, and the way they've come together to mourn while also supporting one another is truly remarkable - But not surprising.

My heart goes out to everyone involved, and much like Marissa, I hope if you're able – to please donate to a family in need.