•    Summer Solstice   

    The temps are sizzling in Brighton and summer has officially started as we ring in the summer solstice with today being the longest day 2012 will give us. Let us embrace the stillness of the sun as our earth celebrates a pause with the seasonal movement of the sun coming to a stop before reversing direction tomorrow. It seems that the changing of the seasons and the tides of nature is ever present, tomorrow begins our journey to new chapters, not to arrive at a defined date on the calendar, but to be glad as we stroll, peddle or sing from our soul along the path that is uniquely our own to travel.

    May today bring you joy and peace. May today bring you laughter, mixed with rest, and if today your desire is to sit and breathe in the earthiness of the long grasses or linger with the sounds of the birds mingling near your garden, I wish you a cool spot in the shade and an open chair.

  •    A Beautiful Person   

    Missy Cook was a beautiful person with a laugh that could fill a room like a crowd of teenage football players fills a school bus on the way to an away game. Missy was a girl with beautiful brown hair and a smile that drew people near. She was a person that I never had the privilege of being close friends with, but throughout the time I knew her as a teenager, I admired her very much and saw her as a true leader. Missy was a leader, not because she wanted to be, but because her soul was filled with joy and that joy was something that others wanted to follow and grab on to.

    I knew Missy Cook only as a high school girl, but remember her spunk and genuine spirit vividly. I look back on the snapshots stored in my own mind of my time with Missy at Pinckney High School and I can see her laughing, running, and always sharing her spirit of kindness and warmth with those around her. Missy was loved by many people throughout her life as a teenager and clearly just as much as an adult.

    It is in days like today that I question life and death. I wonder about sickness and the unknown, and at times, I struggle with fear and anxiety – how could this happen? It is in times like this that I am reminded that without faith in God, I would be lost. Simply, I would be scared and filled with worry. It is when the bad news of a terrible loss arrives that I wrestle with the nagging knot deep in the bottom of my belly. It is in times like these that I must remind myself that God has a plan for each of us, and in Him we need not worry. We can rest in knowing that His timing is not always equivalent to our own. Knowing God is in control of my life gives me a breath of peace when facing fear and helps ease the knot that aches in the pit of my being when I, as a human, succumb to worry, or learn of someone’s journey on earth coming to an abrupt close.

    From reading the stories about Missy’s life,  her family and her footprint on the world, I can clearly see that she was a hero to many. She will be missed forever, and will always be remembered by each soul that she touched. Her family and friends were blessed to share time in her life and to experience her strength and courage when faced with the ultimate struggle. I admired the girl I saw leading pep assemblies and  running around the track at the PHS football field, and I admire the woman that was a hero to many in her final days and who has left our world in body, but not in spirit.