Hello, Cleveland County Community! As I am writing this, it is April 4th in the middle of the storm, and as you are reading my “parting thoughts,” May has arrived and what I believe will be the beginning of the incredible comeback story for our community.
Last year was a time of incredible personal loss for me with the passing of my father, and I know losing loved ones is a pain most all of us have experienced—and we heal in our own way. My 2020 begin with a hope for a better, brighter year—but then this punch in the stomach came out of nowhere, leaving us all hurting and bewildered.
Each day I see the number of those lost tick higher, and I hear more stories of pain and loss. Our lives are turned upside down, and those of us with children do our best to explain, comfort and console them in this uncertain time. But this pandemic is unprecedented, making the search for meaning or a comforting word is next to impossible. Many in our community have lost family, business owners are suffering, health care professionals are risking everything for us, seniors in high school and college have lost a special time that can never be regained, and the list goes on and on.
Even in the midst of this pain and loss, I have seen and heard incredible stories of love, service and sacrifice. However, those stories don’t really surprise me because I know firsthand just how special this community is, and I anticipate hearing many more stories of sacrifice and compassion in the coming days and weeks. As we begin the journey back to “normalcy,” let us take a different perspective with us and remember that life is local. Each of our local businesses has made our community what it is, either by providing unique products and quality services, or by supporting the things we all care about, from our local charities to our schools
Local businesses make each of our lives better! So, I am asking everyone to shop local and spend local right here in Cleveland County. When it’s time for a new car, a new home, new furniture, a financial service, a medical treatment, a home improvement, a tasty meal, or anything needed now, spend your $’s in Cleveland County and support your neighbors, and help our schools and our infrastructure. Let’s ride this wave of recovery together and watch our community thrive, not just survive.
Please read Jeremiah 29:11 and see the plans God has for each of us, and I encourage you to turn to Him. On the other side of this painful situation, my faith in God assures me of an even better tomorrow for us, because we are a community of citizens that is like a family. I am thankful to live here in Cleveland County, Oklahoma.