COLUMN: What could possibly happen in two months?

You can miss a lot of important things when you are away from the newsroom

column

So, did I miss anything?

For those of you who don’t know, I was away from the Mission Record office for about two months due to an illness – necrotizing pancreatitis – the gross details of which I will spare you.

I was brought into Mission Memorial Hospital by ambulance on Sept. 8. After a few days, I was transferred to Chilliwack Hospital and then, after a few more days, I was sent home. Three days later, I was back in Mission Memorial Hospital.

Fun times.

After another five or so days, I was permitted to go home and watch daytime TV, which would have been fine except Drew Carey is no Bob Barker so the Price Is Right is now ruined for me.

After endless channel surfing and much Gravol and Morphine, I returned to the editor’s desk on Oct. 31. As much as I like to wallow in my own self importance, I soon discovered that the rest of the world carried on just fine without me.

In fact, a lot happened while I was lying around in my drug induced haze. I’ll never forget sitting in bed in the hospital and asking my wife what was going on in the world.

“We have a king now,” she said matter-of-factly.

Queen Elizabeth II died? And I didn’t hear a thing about it? That may not be a big deal to some people, but my parents and siblings are all from Wales – I’m the only Canadian born child – so the Royal Family was a “really” big deal in my house, especially to my late father.

Not to sound like a ghoul, but I’ve been waiting for years for the queen to pass so I could watch all the pomp and circumstance that would follow. It’s just a way to watch history unfold.

Missed all of it.

Closer to home, things were fairly quiet, except for that election thingy.

Yep, I got sick the day before the nomination period closed. I wasn’t there when Kenny Braich entered the race, I missed all the debating, I even missed the all-candidates meeting – I heard there was a lot of yelling, mostly by Dustin Hiles.

But in the end nothing really changed. Paul Horn is still mayor, five of the six councillors are all incumbents and Angel Elias was the only newcomer to win a seat – an outcome everyone had already predicted. I did miss all the colourful election signs being posted around town, but I can live with that.

Still, elections are a big deal to journalists. Realistically, I only have one more municipal election left in me. I’m 58 now so I’ll be 62 when the next one rolls around in 2026 and hopefully retired by 2030.

Thank goodness for the federal and provincial elections that will help fill in the gaps and give me my election fix.

Record journalist Patrick Penner left the company while I was away. I guess I missed the good-bye dinner, but I wish him good luck on his new adventure.

Another huge news item I missed was the death of former Mission City Councillor Jenny Stevens.

I was deeply saddened to hear that she passed away. I always respected and liked Jenny. She was extremely straight forward, which the media loves, and was never afraid to say what was on her mind, a refreshing trait in a politician.

Other than that, Mission has experienced some fires, drug busts, public hearings, events and all of the news that makes up a community paper, all happening without me.

I guess I am replaceable.

I have to thank Chris Campbell who was gracious enough to come to Mission and fill in for me while I was ill. He did an amazing job, although I did have a slight heart attack when I saw the announcement in the paper about Mission’s new editor, interim or not.

It may have been my own insecurities, or maybe the morphine, but I was thinking, “they know I’m not dead right? I am coming back, aren’t I?”

Well, I am back and Mission continues to move along at its normal pace. We have a new journalist, Dillon White, ready to cover all the news and events and hopefully, I’ll be hanging around as well.

– Kevin Mills is the editor of the

Mission Record (not interim)

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