Anticipation for 2024

Some days it is easy to get caught up in the news headlines and become discouraged. Before you know it, you are feeling down and discouraged. I want to encourage you to refuse to end the year with negative thoughts.

Each year on December 6, I attend an Annual Candlelight Remembrance Ceremony honoring the memories of amazing young people who passed away too soon. There is a peace as well as a connection felt by those who attend. While I am blessed to have never lost a child, I have many connections to those who were present last week for the event. It was one of the few times that I have worn a heavy coat in the night air. I typically have five or six mothers reminding me to bundle up. This year, I also had one of my closest friends reminding me to bundle up and tighten the scarf around my neck.

After welcoming many guest and hugging most of them, the ceremony started and as I listened to the various families talk briefly about their “angel,” I found myself getting warm and even a little dizzy. I mentioned to several people that I was going to go put the coat in my car. Before I knew it, I had stepped wrong and blacked out at the same time. As I came to, I heard voices of several friends and in the background, I could hear people discussing calling for an ambulance.

Much to my objections, they called and North Channel EMS was on their way to check me out. Suddenly, boom, I hit the ground again. Now I heard even more voices telling me to relax, let them help put me in a chair and wait for the paramedics to arrive. I could hear so many voices and thankfully, I heard many prayers being lifted.

As the ambulance arrived, I found myself talking non-stop. (Imagine that.) I was telling the two paramedics what happened and how blessed I was to be surrounded by community members who I consider family. I went on to tell them about how North Shore Rotary donated the first ambulance to North Channel EMS and how so many of the paramedics not just in Houston but in south Texas were trained on this campus. I shared with them that among the prayer warriors outside of the ambulance were Charles and Velma Chesnutt, who were my National Junior Honor Society Advisor and typing teacher in high school. The campus Provost, Dr Alex Okwonna, as well as Jimmy and Ellen Everett were patiently waiting for me. I explained how Jimmy and Ellen were married on a Friday and Ellen started working at San Jacinto College the following Monday. When she retired from San Jac, she went on to serve at Rice University as the Assistant Registrar. I explained that even more important, she prayed with me the night I was baptized at Woodforest Baptist Church. I told them all sorts of gems of truth about why I love the North Channel Community.

I offered to give them a tour of the community, recommended that they learn more about East Harris County Empowerment Council, North Channel Area Chamber and the three amazing school districts as well as San Jacinto College Both agreed that they would love to.

So, what started out as a frightening event, has turned into anticipation for 2024. And for anyone else that wants to learn more, please contact me at