Summer has arrived and things are in the beginning stages of opening after so much time in quarantine.

Yes, there are some who did not let the pandemic slow them down. Good for them. Everyone should do what works for them. How other people handled and are handling the pandemic is really none of our business. Unfortunately, the internet has made experts of people covering every topic under the sun. These people believe everything is their business. I say this without any hesitation. If you are not breaking the law, hurting other people, or costing me money, it is none of my business what anyone does.

The Tribune and more importantly, the people who read this column, have given me great liberty in sharing their stories. We are a family. This family includes those who have lived here forever and those new to our community. When I have strayed off my normal style of writing, the thoughts I have shared on touchy subjects such as politics have ruffled feathers. I get that. When writing about people, only once has this column upset someone. In that particular column, I never mentioned names. But they read between the lines. My apology fell on deaf ears. It hurts me to this day. There were two rules I made for myself when I started this journey. The first was my words would only lift up the community. The second was I would never lift up myself in any fashion. Those rules still apply.

This week, I had a conversation with a friend which made me speechless. I had no words to offer him that I thought would matter. He has a daughter with young children. Due to the devil called cancer, she has been given only weeks to live. He said she does not want people calling her and reminding her she is dying. If that is what she wants, it is exactly what she should get. It is her call and all of us should respect her decision. A couple of days after our conversation, I called my friend and asked if I could share our conversation without using any names. He said absolutely. It is his goal and mine that someone might get something out of it.

It does not matter how old your child is, they will always be a child in the eyes of their

parents. When they hurt, we hurt. My friend is a Christian man. He loves the Lord and is active in his church. Watching his daughter suffer has been a difficult task for him. He told me he has talked to God about it. He said he has been mad at God about it. The one thing which really got to me was this. He said he had asked God what he had done so bad in his life that his daughter was paying the price. Please be clear. I do not believe this is the case at all. Yet sometimes, it is better to just listen as opposed to offering our words of wisdom. I have not been in his shoes.

Therefore, I have no wisdom on this situation.

My friend has experienced many emotions to include anger over his daughter’s fight for life. May none of us who have not went through something like this have any judgment for the feelings of those who have. I can think of nothing more devastating than watching your child go through an illness of this magnitude.

There are two things we can do. First off, we can bow our heads in prayer that God will comfort this family and see them through this trying time. We must remember, there is a difference in saying we will pray for someone and actually doing it. Only God knows whether we do so or not. Secondly, may we stop procrastinating in doing those things we have always talked about doing. Today is the time to do those things. We have no promise of tomorrow. Life is meant to be lived. And those who are unable would give anything to again have the opportunity to enjoy this beautiful world we live in. Are there bad things going on in the world? Yes. Everyday. We are inundated we these things on the internet. So here is a plan. Let us get off our phones and computers and go outside. Enjoy God’s creation for our own benefit and in respect for those who no longer can. Amen!

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Chris Collett is a longtime resident of Cherokee County.

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