One of the few drawbacks in making the decision to run for the NYS Assembly 147 Seat was that I had to take a leave of absence from writing my Op-ed newspaper column, Heart and Soul.

 For 15 years I contributed my thoughts on life, family and community to The Sun Newspaper with occasional forays into the Springville Journal, the Lancaster Metro News and WNY Women Newsmagazine.  It was a wonderful opportunity to have a voice in my community and to make a difference, and I am proud to say that in 15 years, I only missed writing one column.  Today, three months after taking my Heart and Soul leave, I admit that I continue to miss the enjoyment and challenge of crafting my latest journalistic opine.

In all of my years of writing Heart and Soul, responses to my work was infrequent.  Oh there were rants against me and praise for me, but it all came in inconsistent doses .  Therefore most weeks, I never really knew how my columns were received. That’s why it’s interesting that now that I’m MIA from my Heart and Soul perch, people frequently take the time to tell me how much they miss my column.  Of course, most times they preference their comments with the fact that they didn’t always agree with what I wrote—and I always respond that it’s okay to disagree—differening opinions are what make life interesting and communities engaged.

When I think about the challenges that lie ahead in serving in the NYS Assembly, I am inspired by the Heart and Soul allegiance that my writing has inspired,  I always created my column from a place of sincerity and concern, the same way in which I will serve as an elected official.  And each day as my readers continue to teach me….we may not always agree, but we will appreciate each other and work together to make a difference.