There are good things in life. Some of them so good that we want them to never end, and it hurts, really hurts, when they do. Some other things in life are good, but we are able to let them go and move eagerly on to the next thing. Like graduation. High School or college was good, but we are eager to move on, to graduate to the next phase of our life.
It’s a fine balance. If we are fortunate, we are able to find pleasure in life and in the lives of others. We make some great friendships. We have some wonderful relationships. Some we never want to end! Sometimes in relationships we know when to move on. Sometimes it’s relatively easy. We know it’s over and it’s time to move on.
We have friends who took a hard, hard loss this week. Sometimes the sudden end of a good thing in your life can be devastating. Something vital and important in their life came to an abrupt, unexpected and unhappy ending. When something like that happens we are left dazed and so wounded and overburdened that it takes a community to help us carry the load. White Springs is like that. We love our friends.
Several other good things have come to an end this month. Some of them, it’s just time! To begin with, after 25 years, I am no longer on the White Springs Town Council. My years as a councilman and Vice Mayor were an honor, and it was a privilege to serve. Some “political careers” end with glory, some with the pain of defeat at the polls. I certainly don’t deserve, nor am I seeking any glory, but I do feel pretty good that in this age of political upheaval, I managed to do a good enough job to get re-elected for 25 years. Over the years I learned a lot about people and politics. There were times of tremendous progress and times of tremendous disappointment, but what I’ll always remember is that I served with some really good people who knew the importance of public service. But all good things must come to an end and I’ve known for quite a while that it was time for me to move on to the next chapter. I love White Springs and I’ll continue to serve, just in a different way. Thank you White Springs for the confidence you placed in me.
A good and godly person has left us this week. It was time, but it is hard to let her go. I’m talking about Mrs. Thelma Whipper, also known as Aunt Titt by close friends and family. My wife Merri was fortunate to have a friendship with Miss Thelma and she said that her first thought when she heard the news on Monday that Miss Thelma had passed was that heaven had indeed gained another angel. She knew this was surely true because Miss Thelma was a woman who loved the Lord and didn’t hesitate to share her faith. You never felt like it was being pushed upon you, but you could feel the love in her presence. If you were fortunate enough to be blessed by one of Aunt Titt’s songs of praise then you know what I mean. Hymns that she sang were part of her blessings to others, which she shared freely.
Miss Thelma was an avid quilter who daily sewed her fabric tops stitched together the old-fashioned way by hand and with care. If you were fortunate enough to know Miss Thelma then you know how she has blessed her community though song and praise of the Lord, and that she lived a life of service. She was 90 years old and it was time, but it is hard to let her go. White Springs will remember her for a long time.
During this time of the coronavirus there are a lot of good things that have recently come to an end, but just a temporary end. Bars and restaurants, movie theaters and bowling alleys, barber shops and gyms, state parks and beaches, and the list goes on and on and on, but these are temporary losses. They are important losses, but not nearly as important as the lives they are saving. We’ll get back to normal, but don’t be persuaded by strident voices that call for a too rapid return to normality. Things won’t be “normal” until we have a vaccine and that could take a while. Don’t be persuaded by clever arguments made by those who ignore the science. One thing I learned in politics is to be careful who you listen to. There’s nothing more dangerous than a resourceful idiot.
Once again, I’ve said enough. But you haven’t! Let me hear from you. Tell me how you’re coping with all this. I am thankful that we can depend on each other, and I hope that we can continue to feel proud of who we are and where we’re headed, and that we all appreciate how White Springs and its surrounding region is a very special place, to be honored and protected. Be safe in your socially isolated life in White Springs!