Banks County Opinions...

DECEMBER 31, 2003


Column

By: Shar Porier
The Banks County News
December 31, 2003

For Mom
Her silver white hair was washed and ready to go. I began curling her hair, one small section at a time. Mom had always liked me to do her hair and I was happy to have this last opportunity to play hairdresser.
She looked beautiful in her favorite blue suit.
I wondered what I was going to say at the funeral. My family was expecting me to deliver Mom’s eulogy. I felt such joy at her passing. But is that what they needed to hear? My thoughts on the blessing her death brought to her? Would they understand how I considered her passing the best Christmas present ever. That I was glad she was going at this special time of year when love and compassion overflowed from millions of hearts?
What would she want me to say? I thought back on all our conversations over the past 10 years since she was first diagnosed with congestive heart failure. She had so many fears, worries. Special confidences were shared.
With the finishing touches on her curls complete, her eulogy began to take form. Before long, the words were tumbling onto paper as if guided by her hand.
Growing old.
Who’d have thought
It could be so wrought
With problems.
As eyesight fades,
So do memories of a lifetime...
Increasing fragility.
Compromising ability.
Days spent thinking of lost youth,
O unrealized truths,
Of the inevitable...
What will death bring?
Is the God who has lived in the heart
For all these years
Real?
Will He be forgiving?
Will He have mercy?
Will he grant infinite peace
Or invoke eternal turmoil?
Why is death
The price to pay to know
For sure?
Will they miss
The mother’s kiss...
The gentle hand
That guided this band
From birth to here and now?
And what of the grandchildren?
Will a grandmother
Who lived so distant
Be remembered a few years hence?
Will they recognize
My wizened face
From yellowed photographs?
Did enough love reach them
Across the miles?
Do they know how I
Looked forward to their smiles?
Too late now to do it different.
To show more affection.
To offer direction.
Too late now.
Hindsight, that cursed creature,
Striking a match to light the fires
Of self-depreciation.
Trapped in the glowing embers
Is all that will never be.
Deep within,
There is, however,
A calm voice reminding shaking faith
That no sincere heart
Is ever lost forever.
Makes no difference
About things done right
Or things done wrong.
It’s all in how
The spirit sang the song.
Rest assured,
As you weep for me,
I’ll catch all the tears
For the angels to see
That I was loved.
And God will know,
And He will smile
To see I’ve made that final mile,
Knowing that loving and being loved
Are what make life’s mysteries
Worth the while, and the wait.
Watching my family, all gathered in grief, I saw the lesson Mom passed on float like a mother’s tender caress across their faces. Love had been shared, that was what mattered the most to her. We were joined together, closer than we had ever been – not just in sorrow, but in love. That would be our tribute to her, our way to honor her life.
Shar Porier is a reporter for The Banks County News.

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Column

By:Angela Gary
The Banks County News
December 31, 2003

Cheers, tears and jeers to the newsmakers of 2003
Local news is always informative and often entertaining. The news that made the headlines in 2003 from across Banks County was varied and caused readers to nod their heads in agreement, laugh out loud or even cry.
Some of the news that brought cheers across the county in 2003 include the announcement that Home Depot would be locating in the county. This is a huge boost to the local economy and will bring many jobs for our county residents.
Other good news from the Hwy. 441 retail section of the county include a move to officially give the unincorporated area the designation of Banks Crossing. It has been known by Banks Crossing for years, but it’s now official. Too bad an effort for the area to have its own zip code failed.
More cheers go out to all of those involved with locating the walking trail at the county complex. This provides a wonderful place for our county residents to exercise.
There was also lots of good news on our school and sports pages during 2003. Our students brought home awards, trophies and honors on both the academic and athletic field. That’s always something to cheer about.
One of the headlines that brought tears during the year was the death of former Alto mayor Grover Lee Stewart. He was a regular at the council meetings and kept up to date with what was going on in the town.
Lots of crime news brought jeers in 2003, including several incidents involving young people. A Banks Crossing teen nightclub was shut down after police say teens were found drinking and smoking and suspected drug residue was found. In a separate incident involving teenagers, two brothers were charged with allegedly breaking into an elderly woman’s home in Maysville and robbing her with a pellet gun. These kinds of incidents are always distressing but it’s even worse when young people are involved.
Some crime news did bring smiles from us. An armed robber was captured within 10 hours of hitting three Banks Crossing hotels. It’s good to see our law enforcement at work and doing such a great job.
Open government is crucial for counties and towns and jeers could be heard in 2003 whenever an illegal closed meeting was held or suspected of being held. In one of these incidents, the Alto City Council held an illegal meeting to decide how to pay a $200,000 state loan. Georgia law prohibits loans being discussed in closed-door meetings. We expect town officials to know this.
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News. She can be reached at AngieEditor@aol.com.


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