Sunshine on a cloudy day

Thank you, Claire Bowman.

Thanks for brightening our day Tuesday … a day when we all needed some positive news amid the national tragedy in Las Vegas.

Here’s a local elementary school student who insisted that her friends and family give a donation to the fight against cancer instead of giving her anything for her 11th birthday.

She and her friends and family held a party and raised $255 for the American Cancer Society, as reported Tuesday (her birthday) on our front page.

When most readers expected to read about death, injury and misery on our front page Tuesday — a day after a deranged gunman used an automatic weapon to kill dozens in Nevada — Claire brought a smile to our faces … to our lives.

Cancer also is a tragedy, as most of you all know.

In the United States each year, some 12.7 million people discover they have cancer and thousands of people die from the disease.

But evidence shows that 30 to 40 percent of these deaths can be prevented, and one-third can be cured through early diagnosis and treatment.

Let’s not forget about Claire’s parents and immediate and extended family members.

They have taught Claire about giving to others out of the goodness of her heart.

They are the love and support system that so many people don’t have today … support that the deranged gunman apparently lost long ago.

In our country today, too many individual family bonds are breaking, it seems, and thus, our national bond of brotherhood and unity suffers.

It’s the lonely and lost souls who tend to commit these horrendous acts.

They’re missing some key ingredients to a happy life: Hope, love and belonging.

I think we can agree that it’s not what we have in our lives, it’s who we have in our lives that matters most.