By Clarence B. Wright
In honor of Jeremy Freeman’s 200th column, I have scoured the archives looking for some of his “greatest hits” to re-publish.
Over the years, as I have opened the emails containing his weekly column, I have been deeply touched by his words on more than one occasion. Sometimes, it seems like he was inside my head and the words he wrote were written specifically for me.
Better than any horoscope, Jeremy’s words have affected and guided me in more ways than I’m sure he knows. Even as I built this collection of his previous columns to share, yet again I was touched.
My mother passed away in March of this year and my heart remains shattered and I am still so lost without her. It just seems so unreal at times. Sadly, not a day goes by that I don’t shed a tear mourning her absence.
While reading through Jeremy’s collection of work, I once again felt that the words written, were for me. He has had to deal with an unconscionable loss by losing his son, Trey. I can’t even begin to imagine that pain. But through it all Jeremy has found a way to deal with the heartache, and move forward.
Some of his writing includes death and mourning the loss of a loved one. Re-reading these words once again affected me and gave me hope that someday it will all be easier. For the first time, I was able to smile when it came to remembering my mother. Until then, it had been nothing but tears and devastation.
His faith in God has gotten him through some pretty rough times. This faith has given him the wisdom to express himself in words that he, in turn, can share with his readers – like me.
I am not a member of his church. In fact, I wasn’t raised Baptist at all. But our religions both share in the same belief of the glory of God and all His might.
My mother was a devoted reader of Jeremy’s column, and felt a connection with him although she never had met him in person. When her cancer was beginning to spread to her brain, I called upon Jeremy to visit and pray with us at the hospital. He graciously agreed and came to sit with us.
Together we asked God to give us strength to fight in the battle against the multiple myeloma that had consumed her body. This prayer gave us both comfort.
I wanted to keep his visit a surprise, and when he entered her hospital room, that smile on her face could have lit up Racer Stadium. She was definitely surprised. I may have gotten a tounge lashing for not giving her notice to allow her time to fix her hair, but she was so happy to finally meet Jeremy in person. She felt that she knew him by the words he wrote in his column. It meant the world to me that she was able to have that moment before she passed away. We all looked forward to attending one of his Sunday sermons at First Baptist Church, but sadly she never grew strong enough to go. She carried the memory and prayer for strength close to her heart until the day she died. We all did.
Jeremy is a stand-up guy and I truly admire him for taking the time to provide me and my mother a ray of light in the darkness that cancer had created.
Thank you, Jeremy, for 200 beautiful pieces of art you have written and shared with the readers of The Newcastle Pacer.
Your words have touched me and so many others. I just wanted to take the time to let you know that you are appreciated by me as a Pacer columnist , and as a friend. Your words are truly inspiring and I look forward to 200 more columns. Your encouragement defintely helps me find, and set a pace in life. Every week I am learning to live life with an eternal perspective.