OP-Ed: So many changes in one year

Published 12:19 am Saturday, August 8, 2020

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Dawn Burleigh,
General Manager/Editor

Wednesday was a significant day as it marked the day I quit smoking.

But as with so many other events, there is a story behind why and when. I told Mom for years I would quit when she quit. As she was placed on hospice, I realized she, technically, had quit already. Now it was time for me to hold up my end of the deal.

Going into this challenge, I knew I was going to face some difficult times. Saying goodbye to Mom a month after quitting was one of them.

Two weeks in, my boss gives notice that he is leaving for a new adventure. So, his last day was a Friday and Mom’s departure was the following Monday.

Not the best circumstances to experience when trying to break a habit of any kind.

But, I had promised Mom that if she quit, I would too. That promise has been my number one reason for not lighting up since I said this is it, I quit.

It has not been easy along the way. Watching the affects of COVID-19 on the community and friends has been enough to make me desire a cigarette more than once. But I made that promise.

Now, a year later, I will observe the anniversary of losing my mom who was also my friend.

One thing I was reminded of throughout this, is that this too shall pass.

COVID-19 will not last forever, just like the cravings for a cigarette will not be as strong or constantly be there. Nothing lasts forever… well, except maybe glitter.

I have heard the rumors and the frustration in connection with the corona virus. Try to remember to be patient. Rome was not built in a day and Noah spent many more days than just the 40 days and nights on the ark.

Masks are mandatory in Texas right now, yet, I constantly see people in store not wearing masking or with their nose hanging out of it. Instead of getting upset, I remind myself the person could have a medical or other reason making them exempt from wearing a mask. Not my place to judge them, nor is it yours.

But if you should be wearing a mask and are not, remember, the mask is to help from spreading the virus from you to someone else. It is not to protect you, but those around you.

Almost 400 more positive cases in one week shows the contagiousness of the virus. Even a month ago, I could speak to people who did not know anyone with COVID-19. Now it is difficult to find someone who has not been affected in some way by the virus.

We have joked about how drive by graduations, birthday parties and church services have given a whole new meaning to the term drive by. Truth is, I like the new meaning and the positive spin on what was once a scary term.

Life is changing every day for us and our community. I, like you, would like to see things return to a more normal, less scary time.

Meantime, taking one breath at a time, let us continue moving forward.

This too shall pass.


Dawn Burleigh is general manager and editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at dawn.burleigh@orangeleader.com