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Learning As I Go: This IS our story

As many of you know, we are entering into new territory as my husband begins treatments for cancer. I hope that my emotional processing in this column will help you with your own story. Cancer has come to our home. It’s a guest that has moved in uninvited and has changed everything in our life. Endless scans and tests. Familiarity with doctor’s offices. An assigned oncologist. An unknown future. During a recent worship service, our new reality hung heavy like a plume of smoke. I saw the words flash across…

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Emerald’s Gem Box: Happy Birthday Cheltsie

Today (November 27) marks the 27th birthday of my oldest daughter, Cheltsie. To say the least, my life changed dramatically 27 years ago. At the young age of 23, I became a first-time mother. Everything about her was so exciting and yet so scary. I was so afraid of doing something wrong and hurting her. As all parents know, those fears never really leave us. As our children grow, we too have to learn new things and cross new obstacles with them. The fears of doing things wrong or of…

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From the sunny side: Thanksgiving

Somehow, it seems that the pages on the calendar are flipping by at a faster and faster pace. Here we are, almost at Thanksgiving Day. I have always enjoyed Thanksgiving Day. The day was always surrounded by family and all the smells, sights and sounds (at times, noises) that come along with large family gatherings. For several years, Thanksgiving Day would have a very early start. My father and I would wake early enough to make it from our house to my uncle’s “farm,” near Lovett, at daylight in order…

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Learning As I Go: Juanita Ragans, a life well lived

My mom called Saturday with the news that Mrs. Juanita Ragans passed away. Immediately a flood of memories washed over me as tears ran down my cheeks. Mrs. Juanita loved us kids. Almost all of my childhood church memories have her in them. She was the pianist for our church and boy was she talented. Regularly she had a houseful of us middle schoolers lounging on her couch, laying in the floor, or sitting beside her on the piano bench, soaking in the beautiful melodies she played on the piano….

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