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Town remembers Dalton Jackson

The community is heartbroken this week. Someone who was loved greatly by my family passed away suddenly. He was honestly one of the kindest people I have ever known.

Mr. Dalton Jackson, who was only 59, lived in Grady. He has worked with my husband for over 10 years.

Even though he was much older than we are, we have always had a very close bond. He was a second father to my husband.

When we were building our house, he volunteered to do all the plumbing for free. He worked for days and nights until he got it done and never asked for a thing. Dalton did this just so that we could save money. There was no other reason.

Dalton would also go to the funerals of anyone who had passed away in our family, even if he did not know that person at all. He was just there to provide comfort. But he was like that to everyone.

Dalton was always giving people a second chance, sometimes even a third. He was a member of Friendship Baptist Church in Grady and loved that church with all his heart. He often recruited my husband to help with projects at the church.

It is a beautiful place where Dalton was laid to rest. My husband was fortunate enough to spend a great deal of time with him the day before he passed away. He came home to tell me they were joking and how much Dalton was looking forward to retirement the next year. He was going to finally spend all his time with his little girl who is in elementary school. The next day he had a massive stroke and was put on life support. He left us the next day.

Dalton's kindness didn't stop after his passing. He was an organ donor, which doesn't surprise me at all. His life ended the way Dalton lived it, giving everything of himself to others, but my heartaches for his family.

When I found out the news the morning he died, I felt like I couldn't breath and then I said they have the wrong person. How could someone who was just joking yesterday be gone today? But life works that way. I see people dying daily. But they are prepared and their loved ones get to say goodbye. But what if we don't have that chance.

There is a song that recently came out Live Like You Were Dying. I think that is a good idea. But I think even more importantly is that we treat our love ones like they will not be there tomorrow. How many times do we say, I will go see them tomorrow and we don't?

Or we see something that someone would enjoy in a store, but we spend the money on ourselves. We are all guilty.

Grief is something that there is no fix for and only time can make it diminish just a little. But guilt doesn't have to be part of the equation.

Please pray for Dalton's family. I am sure my grief is only a fraction of what they are feeling. How do you explain to a small child that Daddy is gone? Hopefully we will not have to experience this. But how do we know. We can only have faith that God is doing what he knows is best, even when we really can't understand.

A light has died in our lives and we will miss him greatly until we meet again.

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Someone who wanted me to mention how helpful the United Food and Fuel in Highland was during Hurricane Ivan recently contacted me. They were open throughout the storm to provide a safe haven for local people as well as travelers.

A 70-year-old in the community was deeply affected by Ivan. She has no family support and no local friends. When she came into the store she had not had a hot meal in days and was still without electricity. She was also very upset because everything in her freezer was going bad.

The manager of the store told the story to another customer, Greg. He then found a generator and had it hooked up to the lady's home within a few hours. But the kindness didn't stop there.

They called frequently to make sure she was okay and to offer any assistance. When people without electricity came into the store to buy ice, they referred to the HHVFR to receive free ice. When I mentioned the compliment to Dawn, the manager, she was very humble. She stated that she could not have done anything without the people in the community, her employees, and her boss, Ben McNeil.

Due to magnitude of customers the first day, employees were unable to load food from the big coolers into the small ones being maintained by the generator. A customer came in, saw what was happening and began moving the food quietly from one cooler to the next. Another customer brought food to the employees.

It is times like this that the best come out in people, friends and strangers alike. But as I spoke with Ms. Posey, she also gave me examples of how times of desperation also bring about the worst in people.

She said some people were fighting over gas pumps and other items. People who had power first were still getting the free ice and food being offered, before the ones in need had an opportunity.

Will life bring out the best or worst in you?

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The community of Highland Home would like to thank everyone involved with getting our lives back to normal.

We would like to the South Alabama Power, Max Davis, and his excellent crew. Parts of Highland Home had electricity before the city of Luverne.

We also would like to thank Jerry McGee with Mon-Cre Telephone. We had little or no problems with our telephone service. Also, a great appreciation goes out to Quint-Mar Water Company and Steve Jackson. We never had any difficulties with our water, even while some in the surrounding areas were without water for days.

Highland Home Volunteer Fire and Rescue stayed around the clock at the Fire Station until the crisis was over.

We are very lucky to have you by our side!

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The Lapine Community Center will have its monthly potluck dinner at 7 p.m. on October 11.

There will be local artist exhibit as well as an art sale.

Everyone is invited to attend.

Please bring a dish.

For more information call Nancy Conklin at the center from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at

537-9565.