I can’t say ‘Thank You’ enough — but it’s worth a shot

image Late Sunday evening I opened my iPad for the first time since Friday, when I wrote about the tragedy that had swept — home to home and heart to heart — through our small community the previous morning. Those who have been following this blog for a while already know, though I’m a humor columnist (If you just started following, I promise this blog gets funnier), I take a turn for the serious when the situation warrants. And while I still have to produce “funny” for newspapers that carry my column, this blog is a true extension of myself — because you allow and encourage it to be.

Friday was a truly wonderful and humbling example of that.

With the kids in bed and my wife asleep on the couch next to me, I sat staring at the screen with a mixture of awe and profound appreciation for the more than 150 responses — words of encouragement, support and understanding — for me, my son, our family and the community. Writing that post was a necessary part of my own healing process; receiving so much support was like talking through it with a close friend.

Over the weekend, I spent time with my family simply appreciating their presence in my life. My son and I hung a new basketball backboard and shot some hoops — a place where we have had many important conversations and, God willing, we’ll have many more. And if The Almighty sees fit, help me drain that long three-pointer just once before my son graduates from high school. The wound within our hearts is still raw, but the pain has subsided to a dull ache. Eventually it will fade to a scar which, like most scars, will not only serve to remind us of the pain we felt — but of what it takes to heal.

My sincerest Thank You to all of you for being a part of that healing process through your support, heartfelt wishes and encouragement. As I said in the title of this post: I can’t thank you enough.

Tomorrow will mark my 16th year as a columnist here at Siuslaw News. In the words of my editor: “No one knows why.”

I can sum it up in one word:


Enjoy the day and take extra time to hug those you love, even if you’re running late; I promise you’ll never regret it.

Unless it’s someone you don’t actually know.

(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

40 thoughts on “I can’t say ‘Thank You’ enough — but it’s worth a shot”

  1. Good to hear that you were able to spend some family time over the weekend. Hoping that each day brings you a little more peace in your hearts.

  2. I don’t know how I missed that post on Friday. Heartbreaking. Just heartbreaking. It happens all the time, in every community, in mine, in yours, but it makes it no less gut-wrenching and awful every single time. I’m glad you were able to reach out to your son and to your readers. My heart goes out to all.

    1. Thank you, Ross. And you’re so right. There is no safe haven from tragedies like this, only the comfort and healing that comes from within the communities who share it — whether in a small town or across the Internet.

      Thanks for being a member of “my” community.

  3. I feel the funny peeping out a little in this post, Ned. It seems words can never be enough, but people can make all the difference. Hope you can your family and friends can heal and find strength in each other, in kindness and just being there for each other. Hugs to you.

    1. Yesterday, my son laughed for the first time since Friday. We are all slowly coming up for air, and humor is such a common thread through my family — it can only remain squelched for so long.

      It, too, is part of the healing process.

      Unless you just had stitches…

  4. More thoughts and prayers from Ohio today, Ned. For your community, for your son as he learns one of life’s most-difficult lessons, and you as you watch him hurt.

    Like Amy just wrote, it was nice to see a little bit of your hilarity sneak back in today.

    Wonderful to see.

  5. That post was remarkable, Ned. When I saw the title in my inbox I knew I had to read it. My family had a similar experience over 10 years ago and your words painted a picture of our feelings at that time. Relieved to read you’re all getting back to your routine.

  6. I missed your Friday post, Ned. Mr Ross Murray is right, it does happen all the time – even down here. Hugs do help. And silence. And tears. And talking. Every day we have is a good day. Take care.

    1. And I so wish it didn’t happen and we didn’t have to lose them in this way. I know this is going to sound odd but at these times I often think of Prince William. He visited the survivors of the Christchurch earthquake. He told them something his grandmother, the Queen, once told him : “Grief is the price we pay for love.” I wish it wasn’t true but it is. BTW I had a good laugh at your last quip.

      1. I love that sentiment, Jill. It’s so very true. Thanks for sharing it.

        And I’m always glad to know when I can elicit a good laugh. You know, rather than not knowing people are laughing at me…

  7. I got to that post only this morning. I can still feel the lump it brought to my throat. It’s good to know you and your family had each other to hold one another up. I’m also thankful that you felt so much support here. I will continue to pray for your community, Ned, and I will definitely hold my family a little bit longer today.

    1. As I told someone else, I really hesitated to publish this post, Sandy. The fact that it has prompted extra hugs to children and the people we love has let me know I made the right decision 😉

      Thank you for your prayers — and extra hug.

  8. So good to know the healing has begun, even if the road ahead will be bumpy for a while. I’ll continue to hold you all in my thoughts and prayers. You are a treasured part of my extended family, Ned, and I’m always happy to come here for a laugh when I need it. That means, I’ll also come here to share tears with you when YOU need it. Stay strong, all of you!

  9. Just read about your tragedy, Ned. I’m one of those people who never knows how to say the right thing in these types of situations, so just know that I mean to say something really poignant and appropriate and interpret this message thusly. What I can offer is a virtual hug for your family.

  10. Thank you for touching our hearts through humor and honesty. I’m glad you got to just be with and enjoy your family.

    Did you say in that post that you have to have surgery?

    1. It’s my privilege 😉 And a little extra family time is what we all needed.

      As for the surgery, yep — going in Wednesday for a minor procedure. I promise I won’t come out looking like the old Rene Zellweger…

  11. I missed your last post, don’t know how! I had to go back and find out what happened. These things happen every day yet the tragedy of it never lessens. I’m glad to hear the healing has begun slowly but surely. Sending you a virtual hug all the way over from the hop over the pond and a long long trek east.

  12. I somehow also missed your post on Friday and read this one first (and all these remarkable comments) only to rush backwards to play catch-up and now I am exactly where these other folks are – – prayerful, mournful, thoughtful and soulful. I offer healing hope to everyone impacted and I think I’m now gonna put my next humor post off as well. Somehow I don’t feel like writing it. (I have a new driver in my family…) Take care, Ned.

      1. I don’t know how many times we were asked to quiet down when we were in the waiting room of the ICU before we lost my little brother. And even last week whilst organising the funeral for my granddaughter, my First Born had the funeral director in stitches laughing.
        It’s a gift I think! 😉

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