Brenda Cannon Henley's archive

While writing my two columns for the printings nearing Thanksgiving 2015, I received a telephone call from a dear old friend. Actually, The Examiner’s publisher introduced me to this wonderful human being when he asked me to meet with him and his wife and get to know what many describe as a character in our area and write a story for our newspaper. I knew the minute I said hello I was onto something good, and I have not changed my mind in more than a decade of friendship.

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As I was thinking about Thanksgiving 2015, I realized that it is so different than most of the Thanksgivings I have celebrated in my life. Ted has been in heaven for some 15 months; many good friends and family members have gone there, too. (I buried my brother in August.) Relationships have ended, others have begun, and our children are growing up right before our very eyes. My sweet and kind grandson, Brendan Michael, my namesake, graduates from high school this year, and Steven, my oldest, has been in the U.S. Navy for almost a full year.

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Regular readers know I have had a lot of different changes in my life, as have many of my kind friends and dear relatives. We did not ask for these changes, expect them or, in some cases, greet them warmly. 

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I recently wrote a thank you note because I still believe in written notes of appreciation coming from the U.S. Postal Service to a real mailbox. A friend and I had ridden with another couple to an event some miles from home. The male member of the couple insisted on driving his big truck. We agreed rather than causing turmoil. My friend and I had discussed the offer and both had really wanted to go alone so that we could “explore” the area or stop off for other things on the way to or from the event.

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I have known for years that hurt people hurt people. This thinking was reinforced when I served on the staff of the largest church in the state of Georgia for more than 20 years, and in our vast congregation of over 9,000 people from all over the area, we saw true-to-life examples of the pain inflicted on others by those who had been hurt years ago. Later, while working in an international ministry and traveling all over America and in some foreign countries, we saw even more evidence of the same truth.

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