LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Every day I'm racing against time, wishing if I stared hard enough at the newsroom clock it would rewind five minutes as I try to write and edit my story for the air. I admit it — I love the challenge. And now, as I try to write this goodbye, I'm there once again — searching for just the right words, but this time … struggling to find them.
As a journalist, I'm the first to say words are enough, but every once in awhile they just aren't. As many times as I try to thank viewers and coworkers, I find myself hitting backspace on my keyboard.
After three years as a reporter at KTRE, I've decided to take some time away from the news business to pursue some other paths, goals, and dreams. I'm sure I'll be back in some way before too long. News and my passion for people runs deep, however, I'm so thrilled to start this next chapter of my life, and I will always be thankful for the kindness I've been shown in the Pineywoods.
For three years, you shared your problems, your joys, and your desperation with me. You trusted me to tell that story, and then invited me into your home each night.
I've seen soldiers come home to their mothers, the kindness of neighbors as they discover the disaster of an E-F3 tornado, the strength of a community as they rebuild from a 22,000-acre wildfire, tears of a grandmother as she hears her grandson has been murdered, the cries of a family as their son is sent to prison for life, and the generosity of a business owner willing to donate his time and profit to help a husband give his wife a proper burial.
Your stories have put life into perspective for me. Every time I covered a tragic wreck or saw someone survive a crash against all odds, I realized life is short — too short. You reminded me to spend every moment trying to make a positive difference, working to make someone's day better, if only for a moment.
As an East Texas native, I know that we're friendly by nature, but living in deep East Texas affirmed that belief over and over again.
I have been incredibly blessed to have the most amazing coworkers a reporter could ever ask for and, undeniably, some of the most-talented in the area. As I leave KTRE, I want you to know those on-air and behind the scenes work tirelessly to deliver news to you and your family that touches, informs, and often moves you to take action. They genuinely care about every story that comes across the newsroom desk and produce a local newscast you can always be proud to call your own — something you won't find anywhere else.
I will always miss the KTRE newsroom, as well as the thrill of driving down the beautiful roads of East Texas chasing down stories. Know that this place will always be in my heart.
They say time flies when you're having fun. I blinked and 1,095 days passed as I signed out of more than 650 stories. Thank you for being part of my life and allowing me to be part of yours.