Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

February 1, 2013

Let me count the ways

By Deanna Kirk
Corsicana Daily Sun

— How much do I love my job?

Just in February Explore alone, I had the chance to meet two completely new people (to me), tell the story of my precious little nurse practitioner I love so dearly, and tell the story of a friend who is still here with us thanks to the gift of a heart.

Is there a better gig out there than that?

If you haven’t yet received a copy of Explore for February, come by the Daily Sun and pick one up. This issue is (as they all are) a labor of love.

I made a new friend when I met Kyle Jumper, a horseman and rodeo circuit cowboy who lives out in the West part of our county. His story is told very capably by the young Lawton Cook, himself a bit familiar with horses. Emily Glidewell was kind enough to take our photographs.

I like Kyle. We hit it off famously from our first phone conversation. I guess you’d say we have “similar thinking” on some key subjects. Just one of those people that seems like a longtime friend right from the get-go.

I met Michael Ray, himself a Navarro Countian for quite some years. Since his main job is in Dallas, I suppose that explains why our paths had never crossed prior to December of 2012. But Ray also serves a very important role in the fair city of Corsicana — one of which I was heretofore unaware.

Then there’s “my” Dr. Janquilyn Driver Merida. I learned things about this girl I never knew before, and how long has she been treating me? I have my specialists for certain health things (don’t get me started on the health industry) but Jan is my one doctor who just treats me. Mostly we just visit and catch up. If you’ve never met her, she is absolutely precious. And her story is quite inspiring, too.

Last, but by no means least, Vicki Stoecklein is a lady I’ve known for several years. At one point, we spent a little time together thanks to her daughter, Anna Paul. I knew Vicki had been ill, but I didn’t realize to what extent until we bumped into each other at Trimmings before Christmas, and decided it was time to tell her story. Little did I know the issue it was for, February edition, was the same month as Heart Health month? (God looks out for me in so many ways!)

I learned about the amazing gift she received of a new heart, thanks to the miracle of organ donation. God had His hand on the timing of each thing that happened, and thankfully, Vicki is still here with us. Her sweet husband Stephen and daughter, parents and all the rest of their large family are grateful, too.

If you have ever considered organ donation, even a little, please read Vicki’s story.

We value you, our readers. We try to share the stories we think will move you, fascinate you, will be about your neighbor or person who carries out your groceries. This is a great place to live — made that way in large part by its people.


Deanna Kirk is a Daily Sun staff writer, and editor of Explore Magazine. Her column appears on Saturdays. She may be reached by email at Want to “soundoff” on this column? Email: