Blogs » Your Advocate: an editor's blog » 'Just passing along the awakening'


As an editor, I hope to somehow encourage journalists to do their best. When they do, I am always in awe of their commitment, courage and compassion.

Work like our Sunday installment of "A Father's Strength" renews my faith in the best journalism has to offer. Two young journalists, Erica Rodriguez and Drew Stewart, made this project happen through their blood, sweat and tears.

Of course, they're wise enough to acknowledge the source of this strength. In an interview with a St. Louis, Mo., website, Stewart said, "Filming these individuals affected me in a way I've never felt before. Their humor and positive outlook in the midst of what they're facing gave me an entirely new perspective on life. Even though I'm the director I feel more like a courier — just passing along the awakening that I experienced from making this film."

In her farewell blog to Victoria, Rodriguez offers wisdom beyond her 24 years: "And after a basket full of used Kleenex and a 120-mile trek to Houston on my birthday, I came to a calm, soothing realization: Life this side of heaven will never be perfect. So, learn to deal with the imperfection, accept death and grow."

As young journalists do, Rodriguez and Stewart have left the newspaper for their next adventures. We're the better for having them cross our paths.

Another young and talented journalist, Kayla Bell, will continue work on "A Father's Strength." We don't know exactly what the next installment will be, any more than we can understand the cruelty of ALS. We only hope we can do justice to the spirit and the strength of those who graciously allow us to enter their lives.