Years ago I found this thing to do, and it hasnít seemed much like work.

What do I do? I get up on workdays, go out and meet people and write their stories.

Iím privileged. Iím honored.

Iím humbled just to be able to meet so many people from different walks of life. To be able to record just a portion of their lives. A long time ago I read a message that said life is birth and death, and everything in between those two events, is the dash.

Itís on the timeline between birth and death.

It is not the end-all, be-all of my life, and I sometimes fail (listen to the clichťís in this sentence), but, I try hard. When I fail, I learn from my mistakes and I move forward. But, I donít stop. I never give up.

Sometimes, for me, it is as simple as remembering that my uncle farmed 150 acres in Robeson County, N.C., just to make a living. That my grandparents picked cucumbers in South Carolina fields to be able to feed their children. That my mother worked more than 30 years in a plant to care for my brother and me.

I push on because I know that my generation has fared better. Today, my cousins are doctors, educators, Soldiers, Marines, administrators and officers of the law. We have pursued dreams that our grandparents could not fathom.

Iíve watched colleagues leave in the mad exodus from journalism that has taken place over the years and I bid them well. I miss their contributions to the field. I miss the tone of their words, their impact, their insight.

I miss their voice.

Iíd like for some of them to come back.

Me, Iíll stay here. Iíll stick it out. Iíll go down with the ship if it sinks, but Iím keeping the faith that it wonít. Far more people turn to print publications for their news than some realize. Still others read the latest news on Android or iPhone or eReaders. Whether the news is received by home delivery, online or eEdition, Iím grateful that the readers have also kept the faith.

Thereís nothing like morning news and a fresh cup of coffee. Itís bliss.

Years ago I found this thing to do, and ever since, it hasnít seemed like work.

As I go along my merry way, I hope Iíve taught my sons that a career is to be enjoyed, that people are to be cherished and respected and that Family, God and journalism were my dash.