“Good times and bum times, I’ve seen them all and my dears....I’m still here.”

That lyric by Sondhiem has always spoken volumes to me.

Ok folks let me ask you a few questions....

Have you ever gotten a one-centimeter long cut in the middle of your eye and you have no idea how it came to be there? Well I have, just recently......but my dears, I’m still here.

Have you ever had your heart rate and blood pressure bottom out on you in the middle of a public engagement....well I have, but my dears.....I’m still here.

Have you gotten a phone call tell you that a loved one........ no two loved ones........no three loved ones, we are talking family members, two that are not necessarily that elderly, are all probably not going to make it till the end of the year, so better start planning the funerals.....well I have.....but my dears..... I’m still here.

Have you had to move away from all and I mean, ALL of your loved ones to a place that you don’t know a soul and is not near as welcoming as the place you came and so you just bury yourself in your work because of your dedication to doing your best and because you think, “If you are not welcomed, working is better than just sitting all alone right”.......well I have, and my dears....I’m still here.

Yes folks, through some pretty bums times, I’ve seen em all, but you know what I’ve seen some pretty swell times too. I’ve seen my sister marry the man of her dreams, I’ve seen the birth of my nephew and am prepping to see the birth of my next one soon. I’ve seen the shows on broadway and operas too. I’ve been on stages and sung in concerts in prestigious halls in states like New York, which houses the Met.

Yes folks, good times and bum times, I’ve seen them all, and by GOD I’m still here.

I’m not going to pretend with anyone that these past several months have been easy, because they haven’t. These have been some of the most intense, stressful, emotional and nothing short of monumental.

Do I regret them? Merciful heavens, no. Every step we take is a step on our journey every and every turn we make takes us on another path on that journey. In the end we will end up at the same final destination, no matter how many different “side paths” we took to get there.

I am very proud of almost all the choices I made in my life. yes I have made some minor mistakes in my life, we all have. But I can hold hand to heart and bible and say I was a good kid.

I can also hold hand to heart and bible and say I am proud of the choice to take over these papers, it made me grow. I helped me to build on the skills that my mentor, Publisher Jim Fletcher taught me when I first started in this field as a novice reporter. I’ll always be grateful to him because he was the one who first pointed at me and said, “You have what it takes to be an editor.”

I have to think back on that sometimes, quite a few times lately. I’ve certainly gotten worn down, I’ll admit it.....but......and I chuckle when I thin of this....... I think of myself like actress Debbie Reynolds, in that movie Unsinkable Molly Brown, “I may be down, but I ain’t out yet.”

So I’m gonna leave you my friends by re stating what I said in the beginning, in those, quite fitting words of composer Stephen Sondhiem:

“Good times and bum times, I’Ve seem them all and my dears, I’m still here.

I’ve run the gamete from A to Z

Three cheers and folks come one, c’est la vie!

I’ve got through all of last year and I’m here

Lord knows at least I was there, and I’m here!