Sentinel-Echo.com

Opinion

May 14, 2013

My Point Is... Savoring the past for the future

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — This is a monumental week for many.

Saturday will culminate the end of “formal” education to nearly 600 students who will don their caps and gowns and walk the aisle to receive their high school diploma.

To the graduates, parents, grandparents, and teachers, it is a job well done. Now these students will go out into the world and, hopefully, achieve their dreams and make a difference, for not only themselves, but for future generations. We hope you maximize each and every opportunity available to pursue your dreams while keeping your feet and your mind on level ground.

Friday, of course, marks the end of the school year for the rest of students in the county, bringing to fruition another year of learning and personal growth. It is a time when you can celebrate and relax, plan for summer activities, and prepare for the next phase of your lives. Plan carefully, choose wisely, and live accordingly.

Thursday, of course, is mammoth in my own life as I tackle the latter part of my 50s with birthday number 56. In a previous column I ranted about how the beauty products I’ve used over the years have failed to make me “drop dead” gorgeous. My daughter responded, saying I should be thankful for the opportunity to have wrinkles and lines — which rang some truth. While I am indeed thankful for the many opportunities I’ve had in my 55 years, I still harbor a bit of vanity when I see the lines and wrinkles that dominate my face. But I’ll willingly sacrifice the ‘drop dead’ and the gorgeous for the chance to be around many more years.

Those years, I hope, are filled with the joy of watching my grandchildren grow up, seeing their high school and college graduations as I remember walking down the aisle to receive my high school and college diplomas. I want to be around to be escorted down the aisle at their weddings, be present at the hospital when and if they have children. I want to see my children and step-children become grandparents themselves, so I can remind them they are spoiling their grandchildren rotten, just as I’ve heard so many times from them!

My life — like everyone else’s — has had moments, hours and weeks of distress and disappointment, misery and miracles, happiness and grief. I watched some dreams die while I struggled with reality, I have been places I never thought I’d ever see and have so many more to dream about in the coming years. I’ve had the privilege of meeting a variety of people from all corners of the earth, from different backgrounds, and many of whom have become friends with whom I share cherished memories. I have been fortunate to have maintained contact with at least one person from various aspects of my life.

When my mother died, my three of my best friends from high school, church, and college stood beside me, reminiscing about the times we shared and the impact my mother made on them. There are few things in life more precious than knowing, more than 20 years after your lives have moved in different directions, that love and caring between friends remains intact.

The series of scrapbook memories that define one’s life is just a small section of the experiences that have contributed to the overall development of the person. While many portions of my life have sections that I would never put on display, it is the numerous lessons learned, goals achieved, and mitigating factors  that produce the end result of maturity and appreciation — and, hopefully, erase any bad aura and replace it with admiration and respect for the person who evolved. I am a Phoenix — who rose from the ashes of past mistakes and experiences to make new ones that leave positive and lasting memories on those nearest and dearest to my heart.

Perhaps we are all a phoenix, waiting for that opportunity to soar above the daily issues and tackle the unknown with courage and confidence.

I wish that for the 2013 graduates as well as upcoming students. It is up to you to take the reigns of your lives and go in the direction that will bring you happiness and peace. The future is heavily influenced by the past and the present, but the negatives can be overcome and the positives accentuated for your own personal success. In a world of instant gratification, bear in mind that lives can be destroyed or forever changed in the blink of an eye. Live life to the fullest by always respecting others and by using your heart and mind to make the decisions most beneficial.

The world will not fall at your feet and seldom will it even bend. It is your task to chip away slowly at the mountain of rock before you until you find the passageway to your destination. The path you choose may lead you to the thorns or the thrones, and very few who find the thorns get out without some scratches and scars.

Walk carefully along your journey of life and cherish the memories that have shaped your progress. These are the times we carry with us and these are the memories that we will leave behind.

Good luck, graduates, on your journey. I wish you a safe and happy one.

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • denis.jpg Direct Kick: Did Lana cross the line with her remark?

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • mitch.jpg On The Rebound: All Star Game less important than Wiffle Ball

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • denis.jpg Direct Kick: A very eventful week in sports

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • The shining kingdom

    The drop in gas prices locally is a welcome sight for most residents in the area with gas falling under $3.60 per gallon.

    July 16, 2014

  • Letter to the editor: Thanks, Sentinel-Echo

    In the July 4 edition of the Sentinel-Echo, (last page, section 1), the entire page was given to quotes of references to God, the Declaration of Independence, and our constitution by our founding fathers, former presidents, Supreme Court judges, etc. 

    July 14, 2014

  • Zamperini's story was inspiring

    I had never heard the names of Louis Zamperini and Russel Allen Phillips until my pastor gave me a book, “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,” by author Laura Hillenbrand, who wrote, “Seabiscuit: An American Legend” a few years ago.

    July 11, 2014

  • The tales of Dr. Robert E. Pennington

    When Dr. H. V. Pennington began to practice medicine in Laurel County times were hard and medical methods were primitive, compared to today. 

    July 11, 2014

  • Where did that red truck go?

     We were sitting out on the front porch last Saturday afternoon when a  big, red, late- model pick up whizzed by on Charlie Brown.  It looked like there was a man driving and a woman riding shotgun  

    July 7, 2014

  • A change for Pace

    Let me tell you a little about my friend Candice Pace. We were sitting in the fountain square the other day and she was telling me about how she had driven to Pikeville, where she’s from, to visit with her mom. Along the way, deep in McCreary County, she passed three turtles that were crossing the road.Let me tell you a little about my friend Candice Pace. We were sitting in the fountain square the other day and she was telling me about how she had driven to Pikeville, where she’s from, to visit with her mom. Along the way, deep in McCreary County, she passed three turtles that were crossing the road.

    July 7, 2014

  • mitch.jpg On The Rebound: A little effort can make a big difference

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook
AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
     View Results