By Lori Bredemeyer, Managing Editor
“Hello there! Don’t forget to sign up for Life in Hell today!”
It’s amazing how true and untrue this statement has proven this year. It’s printed on a sticker promoting a comic strip called “Life in Hell” that’s been taped to my computer since August, and I’ve seen it each day that I’ve worked at my desk.
My time on the Optimist staff has been a whirlwind of good days and bad, each one teaching me a lesson or giving me a new memory.
One of the running jokes in the office this year is that I’m the “death beat” reporter. I’ve written almost every story that’s involved a death: one covering Cheryl Halbert’s memorial service, two about Dr. Charles Trevathan, one about the youth at Highland Church of Christ and several more in between. The days I called a mourning widow or parent or roommate certainly were hellish.
Another death this year didn’t affect anyone on campus but me-my grandpa died unexpectedly the first week of Christmas break. I had planned to live with him during the holidays while I worked in San Angelo, and he had been looking forward to the time he’d have to spend with me-his oldest of five grandchildren and the one he saw least often. His death cast a dark shadow in the middle of my senior year.
But it taught me another lesson: “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.”
This statement also is taped to my desk, and I see it every day, too. My tenure at the Optimist has not always been difficult, and God has helped me through the bad days and allowed me to have many good ones.
This year I’ve been more overworked and overwhelmed than I have in my entire life, but I’ve had so much fun doing it. My staff has had impromptu duels with cardboard swords and watched the Numa Numa video so many times that we can all do the motions. During a lightning storm last fall, we played in the rushing water in the pathway between the Don Morris and Mabee, claiming the stream as our own and appropriately naming it the River Sanguine, which means both bloodthirsty and optimistic.
Besides having fun and joking around in the office, I’ve also enjoyed writing and am proud of the pieces I’ve composed this year, even though the ones I’m most pleased with were the hardest to write. I’ve reported on wrecks, abortion, homosexuality and my favorite politician losing his re-election to Congress. I’ve written columns about the right to die and child abuse, and I even admitted that I smoked-and quit.
Although many people on campus might not recognize me or know my name, I feel I’ve influenced the ACU community. People remember events through the media, and some students and employees at the university will remember their time here through the stories I’ve written.
Imagining that the work I’ve done has helped someone or changed something or will allow someone to remember, makes my time on staff worth everything-through all the good times and bad.
As graduation approaches, I’m sad I’ll have to leave my friends, my staff and a large part of my life behind. But after the experiences I’ve had on the Optimist staff, I’m confident that when we face times of suffering or times of success, God will bring us through it.