Poet T.S. Eliot once wrote, "April is the cruelest month."

It seems I am reminded of that phrase just a couple of weeks into spring each year. This year was no exception as Helena-West Helena Police reported the death of another child – this time to homicide. I can't even begin to imagine the suffering and agony that his family is going through at this time.

Poet T.S. Eliot once wrote, "April is the cruelest month."

It seems I am reminded of that phrase just a couple of weeks into spring each year. This year was no exception as Helena-West Helena Police reported the death of another child – this time to homicide. I can't even begin to imagine the suffering and agony that his family is going through at this time.

However, I was reminded just how brief this life on Earth can be.

Music can be so uplifting but at the same time also can shake us back to reality. Singer-songwriter Billy Joel reminds us that "Only the Good Die Young."

Two years ago on April 10, 2015, a 19-year-old basketball player named Lauren Hill passed from this Earth. She was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor during her senior year in high school. Basketball was her love and her ambition was to set foot on a gymnasium floor as a college basketball freshman.

She achieved that goal but achieved so much more in her short life. Lauren was determined that cancer was not going to defeat her spirit and she became an inspiration to literally thousands. She established a nonprofit foundation that helped raise $1.5 million dollars for cancer research.

Lauren wanted to remind everyone just how precious life is.

"I'm spreading awareness and also teaching people how to live in the moment, because the next moment is not promised," Lauren told an Associated Press writer just a few weeks before her death.

Lauren's hometown of Greendale, Indiana renamed a road in her honor as #22 Lauren Hill Lane. (22 was her uniform number). The road is an alleyway where she used to walk to Greendale City Park to play basketball. Near the entrance to the park is a stone that simply reads, "Never Give Up."

"Oh very young, what will you leave us this time

There'll never be a better chance to change your mind

And if you want this world to see a better day

Will you carry the words of love with you

Will you ride the great white bird into heaven

And though you want to last forever

You know you never will

And the goodbye makes the journey harder still"

Cat Stevens

Michael "Rudy" Gilmore, like 15-year-old Quantavavious Stringer, was a victim of a senseless act of violence. Seven years ago this month he was shot and killed in his Jonesboro apartment near Arkansas State University. Today this case is no closer to a solution than it was back in 2010.

Like Lauren Hill, Michael had a lot of big plans for his life. Most of the plans involved helping others, particularly his family.

However, Michael accomplished more in death than most people will with a three score and 10 lifespan. Today, Michael's heart is pumping life through the body of a man who too would have passed away if it hadn't been for the generous donation of Michael and his family. Several of his other organs were used to help spare the lives of people.

Each April, Michael's mother and sister spearhead a fund-raising effort to generate a scholarship for a Phillips Community College scholarship for a deserving student who wants to further his or her education.

"And each one there

Has one thing shared

They have sweated beneath the same sun

Looked up at wonder at the same moon

And wept when it was all done

For being? Done too soon"

Neil Diamond

Love lives on. Love is eternal and it never stops giving.

Two years ago, I vowed I would never go a year without remembering and writing about the accomplishments of these two fine young people – Lauren and Michael. Recalling the lives of these two young people makes me realize that it is the quality of life that counts and not necessarily longevity.