Henry & Dianne Ford
Publishers

IN THIS ISSUE

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1.
Make it a
Merry Christmas
& Happy New Year

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2.
Students Celebrate
Homecoming

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3.
Traveling, Learning
& Teaching
Worldwide
Maya Edwards

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4.
Johnnie Butler
and Lytle Davis
Exchange Vows

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5.
Heatherlyn Gaydos
and Richard Day
Join Hearts, Hands,
and Families

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6.
Rev. Sterling E. Glover
Retires

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7.
Rev. Larry Macon Sr.
Celebrates 26 Years
at Mt. Zion

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8.
University Hospitals
and Case Honor
Dr. Richard E. Grant

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9.
Congratulations to
Fire Chief
Ron Stephens

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10.
Cakes by Arlene


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INSPIRATIONS
and VISIONS

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HOME PAGE

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Tradition moves many of us to wish one another a Merry Christmas and a Happy
New Year.  Others prefer Happy Holidays or other greetings.  Despite differences
within our ranks, there is much common ground.  That common ground sometimes
unfortunately includes tragedy and sorrow.  Several weeks ago, “my world” and that
of many close to me was rocked by the untimely passing of Jameala Croom, the 10-
year old daughter of my cousin Corrine “Penny” Croom.  Jameala was truly
intelligent, lively, considerate, well-liked and all those other descriptions we want
and need so desperately in today’s world.  Unfortunately, nearly two years ago,
Jameala was diagnosed with Scleroderma, a life-threatening illness that affects the
skin, internal organs, and blood vessels.

Everyone who knew Jameala could share inspiring reflections.  She was the ever-
so-cute flower girl that stole everyone’s heart at my sister Jean’s wedding just over
one year ago.  During her frequent hospital stays, she won the hearts the entire
staff, and amazed them by working on the computer between sessions of
comforting and counseling other patients.  When you entered her hospital room,
she would “switch the script” on you, and before you could utter a word of concern
she would ask “And how are you?”

In the best way we know how, all of us who knew Jameala are trying to comfort
ourselves and each other.  In actions meant to help Penny, I have found therapy by
doing things such as assisting with the printed program, establishing web pages in
Jameala’s memory, helping to create a “Thank You” mailing list, and working to help
publicize efforts of the Ricky Clark Memorial Foundation, a foundation designed to
assist in research for a cure to Scleroderma.

Even in her untimely passing, Jameala is causing great things to happen, just as
she did when she was with us.  In ten years she accomplished what few accomplish
in a lifetime.  She packed the large facilities of St. Henry twice, once at the Friday
Vigil, and again at the Saturday Mass.

Jameala brought together the rich, the poor, the professional, the non-professional,
black, white, yellow, red and brown.  Condolences poured in from as far away as
Iraq.  Her guest book at Legacy.com is already over six pages, and so far the
number of Thank You cards being prepared has exceeded 300.  That number does
not include the dozens of E-mails and message postings to personal web pages
dedicated to her.

I feel a great personal loss, and a loss for others who were much closer to Jameala
than myself.  When I magnify that sense of loss by the hundreds of others so
affected and then multiply it by the numerous tragedies we hear about daily, simply
wishing Holiday greetings does not seem to be enough.  That’s why I am urging,
challenging, begging, and praying that you will go beyond “Wishing” and do what
you can to “Make it a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.”

You should not have to look far to find someone in need, someone burned out,
turned out, thrown out, stressed out, or just plain worn out.  Do what you can for
someone else, and if you are unable or unwilling to help, instead of gossip,
criticism, and cynicism, simply step aside and give someone else the opportunity to
help.  Most of the days of our lives, we can find someone with more pain and with
greater need than our own.  This Holiday Season consider giving of yourself, which
I am increasingly convinced, just may be the greatest gift of all.

Visit Jameala's Page

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Visit the Ricky Clark Foundation Page
VISIONS
"Seeing the world not as it is, but as it can be"
"Where there is no vision, the people perish." - Proverbs 29:18
Your Success Newsletter - Nov-Dec, 2006 - Published Bi-Monthly