The first column I wrote for this newspaper was in May 2004.
That’s a lotta vowels, people!
I remember when I received the phone call telling me I could write a weekly column for what I lovingly call “The ‘Patch.” I jumped up and down, yes, I really did. And I screamed.
I could not believe anyone would let me put my words into print and pay me! This was way better than the mimeographed student newspaper I wrote in 1979. I was just in awe that people cared what I had to say. Because you know, at home, it just doesn’t work that way. It’s sort-of the exact opposite, in fact.
I wrote and I wrote and I wrote until my fingers bled. Not really. But as you know, I never let the truth get in the way of a good hyperbole.
Although it’s like giving birth each week, I loved every single letter of it. Eventually, I had to write only every other week. As the years rolled by, my children grew older and more guarded with their stupidity and I found I had less to say.
I assumed everyone was as sick of listening to me as my husband is.
Well, ask not what you do for your newspaper, but what can your newspaper do for you. Every single one of you has become my friend.
Every time I hear the words: “I loved your column this Sunday,” a little piece of my heart expands.
Every time I hear, “It’s like you’re right in my living room, listening to what I scream to my own kids!” I smile inside and out
and every time I hear, “Leave your poor husband alone,” I ignore it.
These past years have consisted of very high-highs and extremely low-lows. Up and down my life has gone, but you were with me for every single ebb and flow.
You allowed me to pen my grief and you wept with me when my mother died.
You commiserated when my children flew the proverbial coop, leaving me bereft.
You sympathized when I had breast cancer and followed my progress along the following four years of surgeries.
You cried foul with me when I was treated poorly and unfairly by those people I trusted the most and you allowed me to air some of my biggest gripes — bullying, racism, bigotry, carbohydrates and the fact that kielbasi doesn’t pass through my intestines as easily as it once did — without judging me.
I know you and you know me.
You weren’t just my audience; you were my comrades, my cheerleaders, my peeps, my blessings.
And now, my best friends, the time has come to bid adieu.
This will be the last Mother’s Daze column you will read during your Sunday morning toilet session.
I’m so sad that I am actually tearing-up.
It’s really not a forever goodbye. Not if you read The Times Leader, it’s not.
I’ve been given a wonderful opportunity to yammer on and on for another hundred years in a new section within the Thursday’s Times Leader called Folks & Family.
And my new column has a fancy new name: “Life Deconstructed.”
Because, you know… that’s what I do.
“THANK YOU” seems to be just two words that don’t mean what I need them to mean. But, from the bottom of my soul, I do thank you for sticking by me for all these years. For being my supporters, my promoters my cohorts and even my critics.
I love you.
And goodbye doesn’t mean forever.