Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

January 20, 2013

Praying for Crystal

By Deanna Kirk
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — I realize this newspaper probably reaches a totally different audience than Facebook, but based on my Facebook community, a large number of people have been praying for Crystal Shepherd this week.

Crystal is a very special young lady (she just celebrated her 30th birthday) with a precious family. Her father, Ronnie Lee, fought a valiant fight with cancer before passing away some years ago. This past year, Crystal and her brother Mark (and mom Linda) got involved in a big way with American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life Navarro County. They were instrumental in its success.

Then just recently, a recurrence of a brain tumor Crystal had as a teen was discovered. The surgery to remove the tumor was very, very delicate. It took place this past Wednesday.

Crystal came through the surgery well, and has been recovering in the hospital surrounded by her family. Not only has she given of herself for cancer research, she is a vital part of a social service agency in town, and is also involved in many other projects to help people, like Backpacks of Love, for example.

A fund has been established at Community National Bank and Trust locations to help her family with expenses brought on by this illness. No amount is “too small” or insignificant to help this young lady who gives so much of herself to help others in need.

Prayers continue, Crystal and family.

•••

Monday is a federal holiday, for some providing a day off work. But let me encourage you, if you’ve not done so before (or even if you have) to come out and join the celebrations and activities in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. My personal favorite event of that day is the oratory contest at the MLK Community Center, 1114 E. Sixth Ave. Each year, students (some as young as fourth grade) memorize Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and recite it in front of what is nearly always a standing room only crowd. Between recitations, there are music selections, solos, even praise dancing. I look forward to this each year, and marvel how the kids can memorize that amazing speech.

Also that morning, there will be a rally at Bunert Park on East Seventh Ave. which begins at 10 a.m. Following that, people will march to the MLK Community Center for the oratory contest at 12 p.m. Then later that evening, at 6 p.m., there will be a community-wide, non-denominational service at Calvary Worship Center to celebrate and honor the life of Dr. King.

I recall one year Rev. Dairy Johnson Sr. telling me the theme of the day was, “A Day ON, not a day OFF.” How about taking part in at least one service that honors what this day is about?

•••

And finally, but certainly not least in my book, my baby girl Kate will be 21 this Wednesday. It hardly seems possible it was 21 years ago they placed that beautiful infant in my arms. You are precious to me, little one. Happy, happy 21st birthday, Anna Katherine!

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Deanna Kirk is a Daily Sun staff writer and Explore editor. She may be reached via email at dkirk@corsicanadailysun.com.