A season comes to close

Published 10:31 pm Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ecclesiastes 3:1 reads: “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”

The economy has resulted in the termination of my employment. However, this time I am ready and prepared to fully retire, since I have financial resources and reached a birthday yesterday that made me eligible for affordable Medicare coverage.

In June 2004, when I was asked to take an early retirement because of a slowing economy, I had no medical insurance. That situation caused me to pay a high premium on a Cobra policy for 18 months. After the termination of that policy, I obtained a higher medical premium with another company.

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But God touched the heart of the owner of this paper to hire me on a part-time basis, which helped to counteract my medical costs. Later, God blessed me with the Western Tidewater Free Clinic.

Part-time work also allowed me to be able to visit my 93-year-old father several times a week in a Chesapeake nursing home and to continue to serve the community.

Seasons of highlights showed me that God was always in control of my life.

In April 1972, I broke the color barrier in the composing room and began at the bottom as a keypunch operator.

In February 1985, I wrote my first article for Black History Month, titled “When I Was Your Age.”

In December 1991, Tim Copeland, who was editor at that time, gave my columns the name “Off The Wall.”

In January 1998, he promoted me to the position of staff reporter.

In December 1998, I was named “Employee of the Year” at this paper.

In 2000, I was presented a plaque in Richmond along with four other reporters from this paper from the Virginia Press Association for “The Best News in Weather Reporting.”

From Feb 1995 to March 2007 I received about 20 awards and certificates from various other organizations for community service or “Woman of the Year.”

Included in this number were a Community Service plaque from the Suffolk Branch of the NAACP in February 2002; and an Implement The King Dream Award Community Service plaque from Unique KHC Productions in March 2007.

God is now saying this is my season to retire; my only regret is that I will be severing my ties with the community and the newspaper’s employees.

I am now passing the torch to capable reporters and an editor whom I am blessed to have had the opportunity of working with.

Therefore, I am leaving you with this verse taken in part from Ecclesiastes 3:13: “I have enjoyed the good of all my labor. It was a gift from God.”