By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

Yes We Can

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down to write a column, but as Christmas draws near, it’s hard not to reflect on moments of gratitude, especially in moments where things are… not easy.

I share bits of my personal life on the Gazette because I feel it’s important to build connection with our readers. The last month has left me more distracted that I usually am. The sudden passing of Jason David Frank last month affected me more than I expected it would. He seemed to be so positive in prior interviews and meetings I had no reason to suspect the emotional and mental burdens he carried. I become close to my stories here, even if I don’t always choose to show or share it. It’s left more receptive to listening to others, more than I already have been.

I almost faced another death this month with my dog Frodo, the little fellow seen in my profile picture. He developed a tumor and an abscess that had to be removed immediately, in addition to a baseball-sized but benign tumor that also went during the procedure. This was barely a month after another previous surgery. I slept on the floor beside him, had to coax him to take, now coming on two months, worth, numerous antibiotics, and his back is still a patchwork of Frankenstein-esque stitches, but he’s recovering, but it’s been incredibly draining.

That’s nothing to say of the Missus losing her job after 13 years. “Cost cutting” which is great for someone else’s bottom line, but not for our own household, and of course, these sort of things always happen right before Christmas.

So where’s the “gratitude” I mentioned earlier?

Friends from all corners of my life, some I haven’t spoken to in a while, came together with money to ensure I could afford Frodo’s most recent surgery. They also helped with the previous surgery and his ongoing medication. Friends again came forward to help the Missus find job leads and have cooked us a few meals since money is tighter. It all felt very “George Bailey” from It’s A Wonderful Life. I admittedly felt a little awkward in receiving that level of generosity. I try not to ask for help, and a community rallied around me during one of my lowest points.

It’s also renewed me in some ways. I tend to be a little down this time of year, bound to the nostalgia of Christmases in Corsicana past, my parents having long been gone now. I’ve sometimes wondered if I still have a place here, and a small town reminded me that yes I do.

There has been a lot of behind-the-scenes shakeup with the the Missus’ job loss, especially with the changes and added responsibilities that come with it. But I’ve realized that I still want to tell stories here. That part is staying. There may be some format changes, and that’s a post for another time, but there’s still a lot to be a part of, and there’s some potential on the horizon for something better.

And after these last few months, perhaps a little easier.

The season tends to work its reaffirming magic after all.

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