UVALDE, Texas (KTRK) -- As an Astros contingent traveled to Uvalde to provide a pick-me-up, ABC13 was there, too.
During multiple days spent with residents of the grieving Texas town, among those we meet the local Little League president, a mom, the mayor, and a mortician. Varying backgrounds, but all linked through a personal connection to Robb Elementary - site of the deadliest school shooting in Texas history.
"It does seem surreal," Cheryl Sanchez said during an interview with ABC13. "This really happened to our lovely town. It can happen to anyone. It could happen to us, and we never thought it would, but it did."
It can happen, and it did. Again. Four days before the Astros visited Uvalde, seven people died from gunshot wounds while attending a 4th of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park. June Ybarra now has a connection to that shooting he never wanted. Ybarra works for a funeral home in Uvalde and helped bury 17 of the 21 Robb Elementary School victims.
"It brings everything back," Ybarra said of the Highland Park parade shooting. "You feel for the families. You know what they're going through. You can almost feel their pain."
More than six weeks later, the pain can still be seen and felt in Uvalde. Residents like Sanchez, a Uvalde native, tell us they may feel better eventually, but they'll never forget.
"A year from now, 10 years from now... we're going to work to build our community back in their honor so this didn't happen in vain for them and for their families," Ybarra said
How can we help that process even from afar? We pose that question to Uvalde Little League President J.J. Suarez and Mayor Don McLaughlin.
"You sent your Astros. That was the first thing," Mayor McLaughlin said during a 1-on-1 interview with ABC13. "What a blessing that was for our community. And just continue your prayers. The support we've felt from all over the world has just been amazing."
"We just appreciate the love that we get from around the United States," Suarez said. "Especially Texas because we're one big, good state."
But not so big to where those of us here in the Houston area can't feel it when our neighbors in Uvalde are hurting.