Good morning, friend. I’ve worked at the Beacon Journal longer than boy star Justin Bieber has been alive, so I feel that I can call you friend.
During that time, I’ve met folks whose stories will remain with me forever. Like the extraordinary woman whose estranged husband sprayed her with nitric acid, a charming little Russian girl whose adopted Akron father severed her spine, a group of senior citizens who allowed me to watch as they mastered sultry moves on the dance floor, and countless others.
Now I’ve been given the privilege of writing a column that will appear periodically on Saturdays and focus on lifestyle issues. That leaves a wide-range of topics. Perhaps I will write about the seeming collapse of morals in today’s society, why we care about Michelle Obama’s bangs, and whether the horrific events that played out in Newtown, Conn., are the new normal.
Maybe we can talk about the parents who were arrested in Stow last week after one of the five children living in their home came to school smelling like chemicals — from the methamphetamine being cooked there. And how the wise staff at Lakeview Intermediate School knew enough to contact the police. Possibly we will chat about how teachers today must be sharp enough to recognize such a stench because a child’s life might depend on it. Or how being a parent means more than simply being an egg or sperm donor.
Clearly, I can get testy, but I’ve been on earth for a while — no spring chicken, my mischievous older brothers might say. That has provided me with lots of life experiences to draw from, including burying a child with special needs and adopting a troubled Ukrainian 14-year-old, who after five years, is just now making sense of life in the United States. I have a son, a chemistry teacher, who is an all-around good guy. And a husband who has been fortunate enough to keep his construction business above water through the recession.
Despite some hard knocks, I’ve had far more blessings and a lifetime of sunsets filled with laughter. Still, I need your help with this column. So, if you have issues that have to deal with the way we live — good or bad — give me a holler. After all, we’ve been friends for a while now.
Kim Hone-McMahan can be reached at 330-996-3742 or firstname.lastname@example.org.