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At 24 and a little over two full years out of college, I still consider myself a student — of life, if nothing else.
I hope I never stop learning because, as Henry Ford once said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
In an effort to keep my mind (and yours) young, I’ll share a few things I’ve learned recently.
I’ve learned that journalism is just a fancy word for storytelling. By trade, I’m a storyteller. I tell fun stories, sad stories and downright bad stories. I tell stories of criminals, do-gooders and every now and then, I get to tell the story of a hero.
Truman Wells is a hero.
Mr. Wells was featured on the front page of our newspaper last week. He’s a WWII veteran who was injured in Normandy, Northern France. He has a Purple Heart and several other very honorable awards, but the one he most recently picked up was his high school diploma. Drafted out of high school, he didn’t get to walk with his class at graduation. Instead of walking across a stage, Mr. Wells was walking across a battlefield.
The Shelby County Board of Education honored him with his diploma 66 years after he should have received it, and Mr. Wells honored me with a chance to share his story with the rest of the county.
I have to thank Kay Etherington and Tony Young for first telling me about Mr. Wells’ story. As I always say, I can’t tell a story unless I know about it.
But even more so, I have to thank Truman and Lois Wells for sharing their story with me.
Being the wonderful people that I can just tell they are, the Wells sent me a thank you card shortly after the story ran in last week’s paper. That card is still laying in plain view on my desk and it makes me smile every time I see it.
But the truth is, Mr. and Mrs. Wells, I should be thanking you. Mr. Wells, you served our country and were injured in battle so that people like me could have freedom, live in a country as great as America and one day, tell your story. So thank you both for sharing your lives with me and the rest of the county.
Also, I’m continuing to learn that some things never change — especially my husband’s sense of humor.
Josh and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary over the weekend. One of the reasons we get along so well is that we complement each other’s personalities — and by complement, I mean put up with.
During a serious moment reflecting on our first year as a married couple, I commented that we had been through a lot in the past year and as a result, had learned a lot.
“Well, you didn’t learn too much,” he said in his true sarcastic fashion.
About one second elapsed before he realized what he’d said and added, “And obviously, neither did I.”