Jeanette Sekan
Jeanette Sekan
By Jeanette Sekan
The Cody (Wyo.) Enterprise
HCP columnist

After much thought, I have decided to take a hiatus from writing my column.

Even as I’m writing this, it’s hard to believe it’s been over nine years and 450-plus columns. Before I go any further, I want to thank all of you who have read the column, commented, called and written me about the column. The calls and notes thanking me were appreciated; the comments taking umbrage were actually helpful.

When Bruce McCormack called me one Sunday afternoon to see if I would be interested in writing a column, it was a shock. My life was in turmoil as my husband and I were dealing with his advancing Alzheimer’s disease. I thought about Bruce’s offer for a while, then said yes after thinking it might help me find a little personal space and creativity while taking care of George, plus working at my job. After I said yes, panic set in before I put the first word on paper.

In hindsight, this opportunity has been more fulfilling than I ever imagined and has offered me a chance to grow and develop my thoughts and feelings about a variety of issues. It has also been terrifying. I’m a fairly extreme introvert, so opening a window to my thoughts isn’t easy.

Most of the time I conned myself into thinking no one was reading the column, so it was safe. Lo and behold, at those times I would get stopped at the store or a call or email would arrive from someone commenting on a column or two. I have broken out in hives several times over the past nine years when I realized some people actually read my column.

In many ways, my columns have been my personal journal of my life these past few years. It has helped me talk about all that I was going through from the illness and death of my husband, what Alzheimer’s does to those afflicted and their loved ones; to the addition and loss of pets; friendships; family; books; reading; politics; wildlife; the power of words; seasons; kindness; COVID; pet peeves; love and so much more. Putting one’s name on views and thoughts isn’t as easy today as one would think.

I am more in awe of opinion writers, journalists, novelists, biographers, poets and anyone who feels strong and confident enough to put themselves in the vulnerable position of owning their views, thoughts and ideas. Most voracious readers imagine what it would be like to write that book or poem or article that would be “the one.”

After struggling to push a noun and verb together, and sometimes getting that wrong, I realize how very difficult it is to work diligently at the art and skill of writing. For those great ones, it is both – an art and a skill. Every time I pick up a book, magazine or newspaper, I am grateful for those who do it well. We are all enriched by the perspective and views of others, even those with which we disagree.

Mixed Bag: It has certainly been that. Thank you.