Saying farewell to an old friend

Saying farewell to an old friend

She was my friend, my walk- ing partner, my defender, my dog. I was her life, her love, her leader. She was my faithful friend, who had unconditional love, and trusted me to the last beat of her heart. I owed it to her to be worthy of such devotion, and was with her through her very end.

“Sadie,” my dog, was adopted from Angels for Animals. “Sadie” was a hard to place dog, because she was older. “Sadie developed a fatal illness, and the day had come that we needed guidance from a professional. I took “Sadie” to a very wise and compassionate veterinarian employed in Dr. Dan Ebert’s office in Youngstown. This veterinarian (I was so upset that day, that I don’t recall his name) listened to me while I discussed “Sadie’s” deteriorating condition, and helped me make the painful decision to let her go that day. We are very fortunate to have this caring doctor and his staff practicing in this area to assist people (and their pets) in very unfortunate situations.

Kathy Bode, Boardman

A lesson for the season and beyond

Iwrite regularly to The Vindi- cator around the holidays as a parent of a developmentally disabled (Down Syndrome) son who has taught me the true meaning of what life is about. Not just at Christmas but everyday of the year.

Terry Sean Crogan was born on Nov. 4, 1988. I was 41 years old. Let’s jump to December 2012. After 24 topsy-turvy years of life as I had known it, I have realized what I know for sure:

a) When the world throws heartaches our way, we survive. Given enough time — perhaps we become better people than we ever thought possible;

b) Somewhere in my past, through the work of some unknown higher power, I was always being prepared for Nov. 4, 1988. So many incidents that broke my heart but never destroyed by spirit, even as I aged. The incidents only made me stronger, as the trauma of giving birth to a developmentally disabled infant was a test I would not allow myself to fail.

c) Years went by quickly. We both grew older. His strength of character both elates and humbles me.

Not a day goes by that he doesn’t make someone feel good. Shouldn’t that be the mantra for all of us, not only during the holidays but all year? It takes little effort to say kind words.

d) We all need to have what my boy (and others like him) possess. Simplifying our lives and not getting caught up in the superficiality that so many people thrive on. At my age (you do the math), I am tired. But he drives me to go on and learn from him. Adversity can often become the best lesson in your life, a time to change and re-evaluate.

e) Christmas gifts come in all shapes and sizes. I received mine a bit early when Santa brought me the most precious gift of all, my boy Terry Sean. No bows, no gift wrap — just a babe swaddled in a little flannel blanket who would teach me about who I am and that my capabilities are not limited by my age.

Leona Crogan, Youngstown

A holiday concert to remember

Sunday, Dec. 9, my husband and I attended the free concert at Stambaugh Auditorium presented by the Stambaugh Chorus and the Youngstown Area Community Concert Band.

It was one of the most delightful and seasonal uplifting experiences. The singers were phenomenal and the band was awesome. The conductors, Dr. Lee, Mr. Pellegrini and the young guest conductor, were great.

The only damper was the many vacant seats in the auditorium. It lasted about an hour and a cookie reception was held afterward. These organizations offered their performances for the Second Harvest Food Bank, to feed the hungry people of the Valley for a small donation.

Many kudos to the performers, the conductors and the people that attended. I hope when the free concert is offered next year, Stambaugh will be SRO.

Flora Direnzo Schneider, Columbiana

More to do than you can imagine

I went to see Miracle on Easy Street and want to say how wonderful it was. It was so nice to see so many talented adults and children from our own area. Tod and Maureen are beautiful people; you can see that they love what they are doing with the children. Youngstown should be proud to have such talented people and if you get a chance please go to some of the Easy Street shows. Each year they have one at Mill Creek and put on a great show there.

The show I attended was at Powers Auditorium, a gorgeous place with a lot of history. I hear some people say that there is nothing to do in Youngstown. They are wrong. We have a lot to offer. There is Mill Creek Park, The DeYor, Stambaugh, Covelli Centre, The Playhouse, The Comedy Club and Youngstown State University, among many others. There are things outside and around Youngstown that people can do too, like the Eastwood Field to see the Scrappers. We get people from other states who come here and love our Mill Creek Park and praise it.

So, people, get out there and see what a wonderful place you live in and quit complaining.

Bobbie Chalky, Youngstown

It’s time to respond to violence

In this the holiday season of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and a New Year, the joy of our great country has been ravaged by another baseless and senseless act of violence. At Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., 28 of our fellow American citizens will be lost forever to the ages. On average, another 38 American citizens will be killed today across America in cities and towns like Newtown, Chicago and Youngstown. This is due to the lethal and deadly combination of guns and mental illness in American society.

President Obama is correct in asking if anyone can say are we all doing enough to stop and deal with gun violence and mental illness across American society. The answer is no. That’s where the American people — of every race, creed, color, sex or religious faith — must rally. And they must make their voices count to urge President Obama, the U.S. Congress, our state governors and our state representatives to address the issues of gun control and mental health seriously in America.

Willie James Richards, Youngstown

Misplaced focus on Sandy Hook

I am writing this in response to a Dec. 17 letter to the editor from a New Castle, Pa., woman about President Obama’s paying his respects to the children and adults killed at Sandy Hook school in Connecticut.

A nation is in mourning over this tragedy, but she went on to use this tragedy as a podium to express herself on another issue not connected to the president’s remarks. She showed poor judgment and disrespect for the loss of those young children and adults and their families in Connecticut.

Abortion was not an issue with what happened at that school.

Tony Rosace, Girard