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‘Exactly what you should be doing’

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

Nov. 23, 2022

“I question my life choices.”

My twin sister uttered that sentence after she called me to vent about a particularly tough day in her chosen fields, nursing and teaching. I could hear the tears in her voice.

“Let me tell you a Chuck Kelly story,” I responded.

Chuck was a newspaper man. He was the publisher of several newspapers in northern St. Lawrence and Franklin counties. He was my “big boss” when I started my career in newspapers at age 21.

Toward the latter portion of my secular newspaper career, there was a series of tragedies in northern Franklin County, and a handful of teens died in a short time. I kept getting assigned those stories.

It was the second or third such story, and I interviewed a small group of boys, including a family friend, about a young man from their friend group who died in an accident. Five minutes into the conversation, the boys were crying, and I was crying.

I called Chuck immediately after the interview.

“I can’t do these stories about kids dying anymore,” I said, still sobbing.

Chuck asked me what happened. I told him about the interview and the crying.

“I can’t do these without crying, and it’s not professional. Please, give them to someone else.”

“You’re doing this one, and you’ll keep doing them exactly because you cry,” Chuck responded. “You cry because you care deeply. Those families, those loved ones deserve someone who cares deeply. Take a few minutes and get back to work. You’re doing exactly what you should be doing.”

I reminded my sister that she cries because she cares deeply. I reminded her that her students and patients deserve that caring. I reminded her that she’s right where she’s supposed to be.

I thought about that conversation as I reflected on how thankful I am this Thanksgiving season. Life isn’t always easy. Parts of it are outright hard. But, as Christians, we get the peace and hope that comes with knowing God has a plan for each and every one of us, and we’re right where we’re supposed to be. We get the joy and grace that comes when God “fills in the gaps” where we fall short, as a friend of mine says. I’m thankful for those gifts. I’m thankful I’m where I’m supposed to be.

There’s no questioning that.

From all of us here at the North Country Catholic, have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

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