The ‘Good’ in Goodbye

Posted on 05 May 2015 by admin

End of an era: Editor in Chief Spencer Gleason bids farewell to The Montage

 

By: SPENCER GLEASON
Editor in Chief

 

It has been a long time coming, but all good things must come to an end.

For the past few years, The Montage has played a significant role in my life. While it has given me the tools that I need to succeed in this career, it has given me so much more in the process.Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 10.31.19 AM

The relationships with people that I have built with those inside and outside of the newsroom mean the most — whether we have agreed or agreed to disagree. And for each relationship, I am eternally grateful.

Inside the newsroom, it is a family — much like a sports team. And during my time with The Montage, teamwork has made the dream work (if I can be cliché). That atmosphere begins and ends with our advisor.

The year I lost my mom to breast cancer, and each year that has followed, not every “family” member has known. Personal lives are just that — personal. But there are times to let those around you know just how much they mean to you.

This is one of those times.

When you find something that brings you joy, the joy can burn out the pain.

***

(Excerpt from my mom’s eulogy) 

Buttload.

It is a word you cannot say with a straight face.

Buttload.

And it is one of the more clever words my sisters have in their language.

If there was a meaning to the word “buttload,” it would be — to have much of something. ‘A buttload of this.’ Or ‘A buttload of that.’

In a more private moment, when my sisters and brother-in-law were leaving to go to California — only to return a few days later — we found ourselves all together in the room where my mother stayed.

After the hugs and kisses had been through, my younger sister chimed, “You’ll have a buttload of help while we’re gone.”

My mom looked up at us and smiled.

“Buttload,” she said.

Her humor was still there.

***

Just a couple months later, my mom’s eight-year battle with breast cancer was over. She was no longer suffering.

***

The fall before my mom left, I received a letter in the mail, much like many other mass communication students at Meramec, about The Montage student newspaper. I had dabbled in sports radio at Lindenwood University, prior to attending the community college’s Kirkwood, Mo. campus, and knew I wanted to enter the world of sports journalism.

The Montage seemed like the right fit.

Beyond the hands-on experience of working on a newspaper; the resume samples and networking connections; The Montage has given me lifelong friends that have played the role of family for the past several years of my life.

Even without knowing, the Montage family was there to help take my mind off of the outside world.

The outside world was one where my mom was only alive in my heart and mind — and my dad was spinning deeper and deeper in a downward spiral — to the point of knowing what to say in his letters, he just needed to figure out where to put them.

Immersing myself in something that I love to do was my outlet. And for the past several years, I have put every ounce of effort I have into The Montage.

That drive is all I know. It is in my nature.

***

(Excerpt from my mom’s eulogy) 

I was not there when it happened. I was at work – bartending. That was my duty. That’s what my mom would have wanted. As she, herself, was teaching second graders up until the day before she was put in hospice care – her duty. I received a text message and phone call from my little sister saying that things were changing rapidly and to come home.

Although I made good time, it was only a moment or two after my sister and I hung up that she passed.

As I’m leaving work — driving home — as much of a hurry as I was in, there was a sense of peaceful calmness that came over me. Maybe that was her saying that it’s okay.

Slow down.

Everything is okay.

***

I am not the first Editor in Chief to leave The Montage, and I surely will not be the last. The paper will live on and it will continue to succeed in telling the good about this campus. And bring light to issues that students and faculty have a right to know.

That is our duty as student journalists. And it should be taken, as such.

That is owed to the journalists on staff before, the journalists of present and the journalists of the future — to tell the story and to preserve it.

And if you are lucky — make a few friends along the way.

Signing off for Meramec’s Montage, I’m Spencer Gleason.

 

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