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Column

Chase the dark clouds away

I believe that all of us have been overwhelmed by so many tragic events in the last few weeks. Not one, not two, but three hurricanes striking the U.S. and its territories, a heartbreaking accident involving a child in a nearby community, and gun violence like none of us has seen before. I saw personally the reaction of community members dealing with the injury of a child. It was a feeling that no one wants to experience.

How do we carry on when there is so much to be sad about? How do you make it through the day? What helps to make you believe that our world is not a terrible place? For me, there are some things that drive the dark clouds away.

To begin with, my husband and daughter make life better everyday. My three grandsons are prominent on the list for driving away the blues. Many of you know them or have read about them. They continue to amaze, entertain, and make my heart and smile swell. Jon with his ready smile and winning personality has always provided a feeling of joy. Even now that he is in junior high and even busier than ever, he still wins me over with a grin.

Then comes Brady, growing into such a special boy. His smile when he gets home from school each day is a wonder. And, with the offer of food, Brady glows. He is always “starving” after school and it makes me happy to see him grin.

Of course, there is lastly our Cole — 4 years old and a constant amazement. He greets me with a smile and is always full of ideas about what he and grandma should do — let’s swing, let’s play hide and seek, let’s bake brownies. He’s up for it all.

These three boys can chase away all the dark clouds.

There are other people and places that make me feel better, feel peaceful, feel ready to face another day.

As most of those who know me know, I would have to include playing golf and being on the golf course as a place that makes a dark day brighter. It’s true, I am happy on a golf course. It is a peaceful and pretty place. I like it in the spring and during the summer but I find now, the fall, to be my favorite time. It is so, I don’t know, just restful, just relaxing. It is as if the fairways know that the golfing season is coming to a close.

There is a calmness to the course, a quiet that only comes in the fall. The activity on the course is slowed down, and those who are playing do it for the pure love of the game — not necessarily for the best score ever, but just because the game draws them in. The leaves left in the trees and on the ground rustle in the breeze. A sound when you hear it lets you know that the world really is a good place even amid trying times. That sound and that place make me smile when the world is weighing me down.

So, I have my family and I have my special place. What more do I need? What more do I need to restore my faith in the world? I need the people who make up the rest of the material of my life. There are the ones who I meet for coffee one day a week. There are the close friends I play golf with every week. There are the women who I take a train trip to Chicago with twice a year. There are the professional people I work with on a part-time basis who are supportive and fun. There are the friends of my youth recently reconnecting and realizing that we have missed each other and those long-ago friendships quickly and wonderfully rekindled. Thank you, my friends, you make me smile, you make me forget the bad and remember the good.

As we remember and care about the victims resulting from the tragedies in the last months and weeks, take time to remember the good in your life — be it your family, your favorite place, your friends. Make a list of the people and places that bring you joy, bring a smile, bring laughter into your life. It helps, well, at least it helps me.

Nita Wyatt of Wyanet can be reached at wyattnm1950@yahoo.com.

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