The blank page is the writer's nemesis and I found staring at this particular page more vexing than usual. I just couldn't figure out where to begin. A simple, heartfelt thank you seems an inadequate expression in relation to the flood of help and support I have received from the Nevada/Vernon County community in the past weeks, but that's the only thing I know to say.
I just don't know what else would fit the circumstances except thank you to all my friends in the community, all my family members, all my colleagues at the Nevada Daily Mail and all those throughout the county and surrounding area who have made this difficult time in my life more bearable by your show of kindness and concern.
Being around the community and seeing this kind of support for others has shown me that this is a caring community. That fact has never rung more true than now, and I am humbled to think that I am the beneficiary of such good will. It gives a man pause to think what his city and the people in it mean to him and how he can make it a better place to live.
The people to thank for this are too numerous to mention. Their contributions range from money to a simple handshake, and believe you me, I place the same amount of importance on one as I do the other. Having lived with cancer for many years, I can tell you with no reservations that the psychological and emotional support gained by a simple hug or caring touch will shore up a man's character and buoy his spirit as nothing else will. That is not to say the money donated is not greatly appreciated. It will allow me to keep my head above water and concentrate on diet, exercise and getting through the rigorous treatment plan my physicians have outlined for me. I will probably be on family medical leave from the paper until about the first of the year.
Rest assured that I will be coming back. I will be around town at the same events and happenings that make this community our home. I won't be covering them as a reporter, but I will be there as a member of the community. This will pass, and before you know it I will be back in the newsroom, back in the classrooms and back in the meeting rooms of the community; shooting photos, conducting interviews and telling the interesting stories of the wonderful people of Nevada and Vernon County.