Next I went to the funeral for Elizabeth Higgins, a former reporter at this paper.
Dwelling on death took me to some pretty dark places during the service. Then the preacher read John 11:25-26.
I heard the words as if for the first time -- "I am the resurrection and the life ... and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
Jesus' question sounded almost like a challenge. I have been presented with the truth. All He wants to know is if I believe it.
I was still emotional after the funeral, so I drove to Jennifer Smith's house for a short visit.
As much as Jennifer and I have talked about life since we've known each other, I had never asked her how she made it through all the pain and loss she has experienced. That day, I needed to know.
She told me that I had to let go and let God, see every moment as a gift and live it to the fullest.
We cried. We laughed. We hugged. Then I had to rush to the Bevill State campus in Jasper to cover ABC 33/40 anchor Brenda Ladun speaking to the local Pilot Club.
Ladun's presentation was very similar to the one I heard her make to the Arley Women's Club a couple of years ago. I, however, was not the same person.
I wasn't a wife or a mother back then. I was too busy making sure every piece of my life's puzzle fell perfectly into place to think about how it could all be gone before I took my next breath.
On "terrible Thursday," God made sure I was listening to what He had to say.
Ladun said many of the same things that Jennifer had just a few minutes before. Some of her comments seemed so meant for me that it was spooky.
Ladun reminded me that God did not give his children a spirit of fear.
I am very familiar with fear. Fear is the reason I wake up wondering if today is the day the bottom is going to fall out of my life.
Because of fear, I try to prepare for the worst instead of hoping for the best.
I am even afraid to live fearlessly. While I recognize that some of my fears are irrational and accomplish nothing, I have never been able to let go of them completely.
God's message to me could not have been more clear that day. He used a preacher, a friend and a TV reporter to say that He wants to take away my fear.
I thought I had learned my lesson. Unfortunately, I failed my first test.
As I walked out of the Bevill cafeteria, I realized that I had lost my wallet.
I searched the cafeteria, my car and the campus grounds several times even though I knew there was no use.
The wallet had to have fallen out of my pocket while I was rushing across the campus. Some college kid had found it and was probably enjoying a nice lunch on my dime.
I called my bank and the credit card company. Thankfully, all of my money was still there. All I had to worry about was getting a new driver's license and insurance cards for Wyatt and myself.
I drove away from Bevill but then parked again for no particular reason and went back to the cafeteria. That's when the receptionist at the newspaper office called to tell me that Dr. Allen Rowland had my wallet.
I ran to his office, picked it up and tried not to kiss him.
I offered him the only cash in my wallet -- a couple of $2 bills that, ironically, I keep there for luck. He graciously declined.
Then I took leave of my senses and started blubbering about my day to this poor man who certainly had more important things to do than listen to my emotional breakdown.
Somewhere in the middle of it, I noticed a newspaper article on the wall that had been written about his family several years ago.
The reporter, of course, was Elizabeth Higgins.