Crowley Star (Crowley, Tex.), Vol. 25, No. 50, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 19, 2012 Page: 4 of 12
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Page 4 ★ Crowley Star ★ Thursday April 19, 2012
My precious mother-in-law lost her husband of nearly 60
years last week.
After a long, exhaustive battle with Alzheimer’s, Papi died
quietly in his sleep.
The peace in Mami’s heart glowed
on her face as she gathered her family
around her to celebrate his life. This time
our laughter was filtered through tears as
we happily shared our memories of times
Mami reminds me of my own mother,
who died suddenly at the age of 54. We
decided the two of them must have at-
tended the same mom school.
Crying when we arrive, and crying
when we leave, Mami tells us we’re fat and
need to diet all the while stuffing us with
her native rice, beans and plantanos. Her
hugs are strong and last longer than a few seconds —she
means her embraces.
Taking care of her family is her reason for being. Her
kitchen is the center of her home and is always full of people.
Preparing dinner while tripping over aunts, uncles and cous-
ins is the norm while trying to get food on her table.
The first time I met her, she was giving me things; slip-
pers she had made, cuttings from her plants and homemade
sofrito to take home. She gave the same to my best friend
and sent more for my daughter and daughter-in-law back
home in Texas. My mother-in-law is a giver. She designs
beautiful jewelry to give it away.
A woman of great faith and prayer, Mami believes her God
will always take care of her as she puts others first in her life.
“Mijita,” she whispered to me one evening, “You need to
speak Spanish better so we can talk,” her eyes sparkled as
she winked at me. I promised her I would be more diligent
in my language so we could share the things that were in her
heart. She didn’t think she could speak English well enough
to completely communicate her thoughts.
What a special bond we share. She blesses my life in ways
I never even considered. Two hours before Papi’s service,
we had to take her to the emergency room. She was doubled
over in pain. We wanted to postpone but she insisted we
carry on without her.
As I walked into her hospital room with the rest of our
family after the service that evening, I was especially touched
when she reached her arms out for me. She pulled me to her
chest and cried into my hair. In Spanish, she poured out her
heart as I held her frail body close to mine. When I opened
my eyes, the room had emptied and she was smiling.
“Well, she laughed, “I guess we know how to get rid of
We have been trying to convince Mami to move to Texas
for several years, as Papi grew weaker and the burden upon
her shoulders grew heavier. She knew she needed to but
could not make the move from her Florida home, community
and church she had grown to love.
When I left her Sunday evening, she once again pulled me
to her and told me she could not stay alone in the house they
She smiled when I told her we would love to have her in
our home then tearfully nodded.
I don’t know what life has in store for her, but I know
Mami is a precious gift I am so blessed to call mine.
Candy McMichen is the editor of the Alvarado Star and
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He has called, and I am going
G-d works in mysterious
The cliche has been
the way us
J ews write
that it is time to do something
different in your life and do
to His bidding.
The Torah —the Jewish
bible, which comprises the
first five books of the Old
Testament —is full of many
examples, as most of you well
know. We are in the midst of
Passover, during which we
re-tell the story of Exodus
and how Moses led the Jews
away from the slavery of the
Egyptians. Those ancient
Jews fought 10 plagues and
sworn enemies, and they
didn’t even have time to add
yeast to their bread as they
went on their journey.
That’s why we eat matzo
during Passover. If you get the
good stuff, it’s great; the typical
stuff, not so much.
But that’s not the only
example. G-d called Noah to
save two of each species. He
called on Moses to bring down
the Ten Commandments (15,
if you believe Mel Brooks’
‘History of the World Part
I,” in which ol’Moshe
dropped the third tablet). And
sometimes, He didn’t even let
his human vehicles experience
the fruits of his labor. Moses
died before the Israelites
crossed into the Promised
Land at the end of the Torah.
While it was not escaping
slavery, He brought my family
and me to this area almost
two years ago when we were
looking for a way out of the
hustle-bustle, plastic world of
North Dallas. I almost didn’t
get to see the fruition of that
journey because I got seriously
sick in early 2011, but G-d kept
me alive so I could see my
family happily than ever and
watch my son as he thrives
in J oshua academically and
Now He has called me to
This week has been my
last with Star Group Media,
with which I have been
proud to work for the past
28 months, 23 of them as
editor of the Crowley Star
— and, no, I did not have a
bet with Truitt Gilbreath to
see who would be the first
one out. I have been offered
the opportunity to become
editor of the Texas J ewish
Post, the weekly newspaper
serving the Fort Worth-
Dallas Jewish community.
This will be the first time
in the 65-year history of
the newspaper that the
editorship will have been
outside the founding family,
an honor that humbles me.
It wasn’t like I was
looking to leave the Star
Group. The Texas Jewish
Post publisher, with whom
I have had a long and
offered me the job out of the
blue. It was a calling, and I
The Sorter family, if
anyone cares, will continue
to live in J oshua, and my
son will continue at J oshua
High School, a decision the
Crowley Eagles basketball
team may come to regret in
the next few years. So, you
can’t get rid of us that easily.
Though my tenure here
was short, the ride has
been enjoyable. Covering
the Crowley and J oshua
stories over the past
two-plus years has been
enlightening. Seeing the
passion and commitment
demonstrated by elected
and appointed officials,
school and city staff and
the residents as a whole is
uplifting. These communities
have a collective servant’s
heart, and I’ll be proud to
continue being a part of this
I do not know who my
replacement will be in J oshua,
but I trust he or she will
continue to provide J oshua
residents with the news and
information they need and
want, just as J ay Hinton has
done in Crowley since I moved
over. Community newspapers
are part of the fabric of a small
town, and it’s important the
newspaper support the city,
and the city and its businesses
support the newspaper.
Thought you likely won’t
be reading my words too
much any more, we’ll see ya’
Loyalty can pay grand dividends
In western Malaysia there
is an island called Panang,
and in Panang there is a city
Fresh From middle of
The Brewer Western
Christian Cemetery there is a
statue among the thousands
of gravestones and others
statues out there.
It is not the statue of a man
or a woman or an angel, not
even of J esus, Mary or a saint—
but it’s a statue of a dog.
The story goes that
somebody buried there had a
dog which loved it’s master.
When the man died, the dog
followed the funeral proces-
sion to the grave and stayed
there. He wouldn’t budge
and refused to go home.
After a while, the dog fi-
nally died at that burial spot
and everybody in that part of
the world was talking about
it. The family built a statue
at the gravesite in memory of
that dog, because it demon-
strated such unusual loyalty.
Loyalty, even from an
animal, is a really big deal.
Merchants have rewarded
their most loyal customers
with perks, starting with the
baker’s dozen and then mov-
ing into S&H Green Stamps.
People in business under-
stand that loyalty is what
makes a business effective.
In the modern era, it is such
a big deal that customer loy-
alty programs have become
an industry all their own.
The giant business of
producing customer loyalty
began when American Air-
lines kick-started its AAd-
vantage program in 1981.
Today, U.S. membership in
loyalty marketing programs
is more than 1 billion strong
and that’s an average of
more than four programs per
adult. Nearly 90 percent of
all adult Americans partici-
pate in some type of rewards
program, and most of us are
enrolled in more than one.
The thinking behind all
of that is best summarized
in Fredrick Reichheld’s book
“Loyalty Rules.” According
to him, if a company can
increase it’s loyalty base by
only 5 percent then it can
increase its annual income
by 100 percent.
So lets say a barbecue
joint has 1,000 customers
and 100 of them are com-
pletely loyal and won’t eat
anyone else’s barbecue. If this
restaurant can increase their
loyal base from 100 to only
105 people, then they have a
good chance of doubling their
income over the next year.
I wonder how much more
effective we would be as
Christians if we made a lot
bigger deal out of loyalty.
If just five out of every 100
Christians would totally and
radically sell out, we might
could double the results of
For those of us who call
ourselves Christians, its not
whether you consider your-
self a Christian that makes
you effective. It’s how loyal to
the King and how sold out to
His heart you are that makes
you effective. You can’t
separate loyalty from service
when it comes to the King-
dom. Loving God and loving
people is still the great com-
mandment. And, as I always
say, the way to the King’s
throne room is through the
Troy Brewer is the senior
pastor of OpenDoor Church
in Joshua and can be found
Here’s what’s next.
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Hinton, Jay. Crowley Star (Crowley, Tex.), Vol. 25, No. 50, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 19, 2012, newspaper, April 19, 2012; Burleson, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth808024/m1/4/: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Burleson Public Library.