The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)


December 23, 2013

Dealing With the Joys and Sorrows of the Holiday Season

Monday, December 23, 2013 — It’s hard sometimes to deal with the holiday, especially when you lose a loved one sometime around them.

My father died just after Thanksgiving in 2000, and it hardly seems like 13 years since that happened; it often feels like just yesterday.

I remember that I could not have gotten through the pain and sorrow of losing my father without the love and support of the people here at the paper.

At that time, I had only been on the job for a little over a year and was still fairly green, having only been out of school about three years, two of which were spent working in radio.

So here I was, after my father had fought a long battle with diabetes and I had never been involved with a funeral in the South.

I remember seeing more casserole dishes come over to my house in a three-day period then I had ever seen pass through the kitchen.

What I remember most was that, to a person, everyone at the newspaper was so supportive and kind and helped me get through a tough time in my life.

I also remember getting cards of condolences from former North Stanly basketball coach Leo Brunelli and a very nice note from former Albemarle head tennis coach Gary Moran, both of which I still have to this day.

The holidays were not something I celebrated for a very long time, even going so far as to eat Chinese on Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays just so I would avoid any reminder of the holidays.

After meeting my beautiful wife Laura and becoming a member of the Burleson clan, the holidays have come alive to me again, and I have a wonderful family with which  to share the joy of the season.

I have to say, though, that I can not wait for future Christmas Days when I get to see the newest member of our clan, little Tate Whitley, tear open his Christmas presents with paper flying and bows sailing through the air as Molly and Charlie bark their heads off.

Whether the holidays for you are a joyous or a somber time, I hope that you find love, peace and happiness this year.

Merry Christmas.

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