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This might be the last column I ever write

Published 7:09am Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Well, if the ancient Mayans and their doomsday calendar are to be believed, this could very well be the last column that I ever write, because the world is supposed to end on Dec. 21, 2012. I hope I finish strong.
•  Like all of you, I just couldn’t believe the horror that took place last Friday, when a lone 20-year-old gunman fatally shot 20 school children and eight adults, including his mother and himself, in Newtown, Connecticut.

I know there will be thousands of columns written about this subject, and I don’t even pretend to be an expert. I don’t know if the answer is better security at schools, or more stringent gun laws, or improved mental health care. Then again, maybe  this would have still happened even with all those barriers in place.
All I know is that a tragedy like this always reminds us all that life is truly a gift and can be gone in an instant. I know that I’ll be hugging my mom and dad extra tight when I see them this Christmas. I hope you all remember the important people in your life, as well, and continue to pray for all of those whose lives were torn apart by this act of unmistakable evil.
• I continue to be impressed by the generosity that our fellow Decatur County citizens are showing this Christmas season. In addition to the more than 8,000 toys collected for the Toys for Tots program, there are many other visible signs of the strong giving spirit of our community.
The “Secret Santa” program will help more than 300 children in more than 100 families to have a Merry Christmas. The Mayor’s Motorcade has raised money for mental health and retardation hospital patients. The Rotary Club raised almost $200 for the Still Waters women’s shelter at their Christmas party last Tuesday … the list goes on and on.
I’m truly proud to be from southwest Georgia, where we take care of our own and we don’t just celebrate the Christmas spirit, we actually live it.
• I’m definitely looking forward to next weekend, when I’ll get the chance to see my entire family for the first time since September. My dad rented a condo in Biloxi, Miss., which makes it convenient for all of us to get together — my sister and I live in the South while my parents and brother are in Missouri.
I’m sure there will be board games, movie nights, and maybe even our traditional post-Christmas Chick-fil-A nugget tray (hey, some traditions are sacrosanct!). I hope that all of you have family members that you can spend this special time with, as well.
Have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year, and thank you for reading The Post-Searchlight.

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