Don’t give up.

Don’t quit.

Just around the corner is a silver lining and it’s beautiful. Just around the corner will be a hope of normalcy once again.

Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Keep pressing forward.

We have the chance to bring love and kindness to everyone we see. For the teachers and school staff and leaders, we appreciate you. We encourage you! We thank you for spending countless hours in training, researching, collaborating and working hard to bring the best education to our children.

For the law enforcement officers who patrol our streets and keep us safe, in the midst of chaos, I salute you and thank you. I stand behind you.

To the endless medical physicians and medical staff, thank you so much for providing care for all of us. Essential workers are the backbone of this county and we thank you.

Keep fighting and keep going strong in the midst of things that are happening in the world today and the negativity. I for one stand and say there is hope in normalcy.

We can choose to be kind to one another. We can choose to be gracious in tough times. We can choose to be positive when things are negative. We can choose to stand for right and for hope.

I sit here thinking about my family’s future. All of my children are returning to school via Comprehensive Distant Learning and all of the plans that we’ve made at the beginning of the year have changed. I could get down, I could get discouraged but I choose to look forward with hope and excitement.

There might be a slight change in our Thanksgiving plans — I will make better plans. There might be a slight change in our Christmas traditions — I will make them better. When life gives you tough choices make it bright and better.

Continue to wear a smile. Continue to share a kind word. Continue to give encouragement to someone. There’s so much heaviness in the world right now. There’s so much negativity. Be the light in this darkness. Be a light of hope to someone you don’t know. We can not control what others think, do, say, act. But we do have full and total control over ourselves.

We can control how our day is going to be regardless of anything that happens.

We can start our days with a smile. A kind word to our family members, thankfulness to the essential worker at the store. When your plans change because of restrictions, instead of looking at it as bad or frustrated, use it as an opportunity to do something you’ve never done before. The options are endless.

Whether you have differences with someone you can still choose to love that person, show kindness to that person, encourage that person, and see the good.

For all of the families starting school this fall — be it online, or in-person with restrictions — you got this!.You are amazing. I am here to cheer you on. Y’all will do amazing. Believe in yourself and your family. Make this year the greatest year ever.

For everyone in Douglas County: we are all in this together. We must look towards the future with gladness, with faithfulness, with joy and happiness. There are brighter days coming right around the corner. Keep fighting, keep going.

Don’t quit, Don’t give up.

Kate Windsor is a Sutherlin resident and mother of six kids ranging in age from 11-18. Kate recently graduated from Eastern Oregon University with a Bachelor of Arts.

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