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Thankful newspaper ink runs in my blood

When we were kids, we all had something we wanted to be when we grew up. I first wanted to be a police officer. Then, thanks to the TV show “Chicago Hope,” I wanted to be a doctor. But, then high school happened and I figured it all out. I’ll never forget filling out that sheet of paper that would decide what classes I would take the next year. I went with the newspaper because I thought it would look better on a college application than the yearbook staff would have. Little did I know I had just figured out what I would do with my life.

It’s funny how those things work. I really only joined the staff of the EsCoHi because it seemed like fun and I thought the editor was pretty. It only took a few weeks before I realized I had found my calling.

I mention it because we are living in a strange time. The term “fake news” is now a thing. Thanks, Facebook. And our president feels the need to attack the actual news while Tweeting information rather than making an address to the nation. What has happened? Oh, and the word “Tweeting” is also a thing.

But, we’ll all be okay. This too shall pass, as they say. But, you know what will not go away? All the important things we do every day of our lives.

I was thinking about it a few nights ago and I realized, our doctors at our hospital will still be needed, despite what’s happening in our culture. Our ambulance drivers and fire fighters will still be here when the next president takes office. Our teachers will still help shape our children’s’ lives whether or not they are teaching Common Core.  Politics aside, we’re all going to be just fine.

But, that also made me think of how lucky I am. I’m lucky enough to have figured out what I wanted to do with my life before I was even old enough to drive. Did you know the average college student changes his or her major four times before graduation? I majored in journalism. It never changed. You know why? Because this is the best job in the world.

Because of it I get to celebrate with you when your children get a college scholarship. I also get to grieve with you when I’ve written an obituary for one of you relatives. One of the worst nights of my life happened right here when three children died in a house fire. There was nothing I could do but tell the story. It broke my heart. It also hurt to watch a man see his brother put to death. But, such is the world we live in.

I guess my point is there IS no point in trying to act like bad things don’t happen. They happen every day and we have to face them. But, good things happen every day too. I get to write about those of you who go out of your way to make a difference in your community; those who contribute to funds, run 5K’s in support of a disease that has never affected you and the ones who save old theaters or start community orchestras.

As tough as it can be sometimes to witness the most terrible things that can happen in your hometown, it’s so overshadowed by getting to witness all of the great things. And the great things aren’t random. They’re thanks to all of you. Thanks for making my job great!