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[editor’s note]
mitch morrison,
Vice President and Group Editor
E-mail your comments to Mitch Morrison at
[email protected]
My Family Faces a Test
n 1997, the Boston ska band The
Mighty Mighty Bosstones produced a song that would become
their best-selling hit. It’s called “The
Impression That I Get.” The opening
lyrics are profound:
Have you ever been close to tragedy
Or been close to folks who have
Have you ever felt a pain so powerful
So heavy you collapse
I’ve never had to knock on wood
But I know someone who has
Which makes me wonder if I could
As I recently shared in CSP Daily
News (,
my family is being tested. We recently
learned that our younger, 10-year-old
son, Daniel, has lymphoma. It is serious
yet treatable. We are slowly grasping
a life of “new normal,” returning to a
routine but one different from that of
our past.
I was initially unsure whether to
share such details of my personal life,
but my hesitation was brief. You have
been my second family for 15 years,
and I felt it impor tant you know
why I would be taking a short leave
of absence, why I might be slower in
responding to calls and requests. It was
equally important to know that CSP’s
great editorial team would carry on in
my absence.
What I didn’t expect was your outpouring of support. In a week’s span,
more than 150 of you sent emails,
handwritten notes, small gifts and great
words of inspiration. I have tried to
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respond to each of you. If I have failed,
please accept my sincere apology.
Yours were words of prayer, family,
and inspiration.
From an East Coast truckstop
operator: “I have three kids. My oldest is 10 and she is off to Girl Scout
camp. … At 10, she has decided that
she doesn’t want us to hug her anymore
and that I shouldn’t say ‘mommy’ and
‘daddy’ anymore; it has to just be mom
and dad. But as much as she wants to be
mature, in my mind she is still the baby
that I held in my arms, pacing back and
forth, trying to induce sleep.
“I can’t imagine what you and
your wife are feeling right now, but I
want you to know that you are in my
Yours were words of
prayer, family and
thoughts. … I will hug my three kids
tighter tonight when I say goodnight
(and I will hug my 10-year-old whether
she likes it or not).”
From a tobacco journalist: “I am
in Kortrijk, Belgium, and promise to
find a church and say a Hail Mary for
your son. So sad, but do not despair—
I survived a heart attack and cancer
(prostate). Have faith.”
From a Southeastern consultant:
“I just read your article regarding
Daniel and wanted you to know how
it touched my heart. … Sometimes life
just doesn’t make any sense, especially
when it comes to our own family, and
we all wonder why! But even in these
moments, some things remain true.
God loves Daniel. ... He has a plan for
his life. ... He will be with him constantly, and even the darkest night will
eventually turn to dawn.”
From a West Coast operator: “While
none of my children have a life-threatening disease so I cannot say I understand
exactly what you’re going through, I can
relate to the anxiety and fear for a child
because my youngest son was hospitalized with a high fever for five agonizing
days after he was born. … I remember
sitting by my son’s basinet praying over
him and hearing the Lord ask me, ‘If I
do not heal your son, will you still praise
and follow me?’
“Wow, was that a moment of testing.
… I praise God every time I look at my
son because I have, so far, been spared
that ultimate test of faith.”
From a Southeastern operator:
“When I started reading your very personal CSP article about your family and
son, I gasped and felt almost a stab in
my chest. I am so sorry to hear about
the news. The c-store industry/family
is pulling for Daniel, and I will offer
prayers for recovery.”
From a Southern operator: “Thank
you for sharing about your son’s condition. It is easy to get caught up in the
urgency of the day, and your article is a
great reminder about appreciating what
we take for granted and having perspective.
“Your family will be in my family’s
prayers tonight. Good luck with the
treatments, and God bless.”