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Ever Optimistic For The 2014 New Year

By Charles Cooper

Hello everyone, hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
As most of you know our family had two deaths during December, Lupe’s brother Jose Otriz and our nephew Michael Scanlon.  Therefore, my plans to have a personal interview to begin in January had to be put on hold. If things go as planned, we’ll have one in two weeks.  
Pastor David Freeman and the congregation of the First Christian Church, where Edward and Virginia and their family have been  members for years, were all fantastic.  Almost immediately after they learned of Michael’s death, they were delivering food and offering  help to the family.
I had met David once before when he preached Mr. Chester Joyner’s funeral, and liked him very much.  He is a low-key individual who gets things done in a quiet and efficient manner. David is one of those individuals, who after talking with him five minutes, you feel as if you’ve known him for years.  
We had a chance to talk at length and I learned that he is an Ohio native and prior to coming to Water Valley 14 years ago, served a congregation in Bristol, Virginia. When he learned about Michael, he was at the house within an hour and cancelled his vacation plans and made himself and his congregation available to assist in any way possible.
I’m happy to call him my friend and think he is an asset to this community.  
Michael was a special needs child. When he was brought to the Newborn Center in Memphis, the doctors told Lupe and I he wouldn’t live 24 hours. Michael fooled them living exactly 30 years and two months, touching many lives along the way. After spending Christmas day with all of us, he passed away in his sleep that night with a smile on his face.   
The last few years he had been a resident of the center in Oxford. Six of the men who had been his attendants served as pall bearers and many of the staff attended his funeral.
People have said to me recently, “Cooper, how can you be optimistic when the whole country is going down the tube?”  
Because I believe we’re  better people than we get credit for being and something like this only proves my point. The good people have always out-numbered the bad they just are not as newsworthy but we’ll be here when all the self-serving politicians will only be a bad memory.   
Again I want to thank all of you for your support as we begin 14 years of Reflec-tions and I hope for many more to come.  
Let me hear from you at my email address of or write me at P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, TN 38101 and have a great year.

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