Praying for a Miracle

A personal note from CSP's group editor

Mitch Morrison, Vice President of Retailer Relations

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- "It's 2:00 in the morning. We are at Hackensack University Medical Center in northern Jersey and are grieving beyond tears and words. Our younger son, Daniel, hasn't been feeling well for a couple of days, complaining of back pain and shortness of breath.

Two hours ago, what we thought was perhaps a virus or something tied to the heat and humidity was something much worse. Our little boy has cancer."

I wrote these words in the wee hours last Thursday, June 27. Two days earlier, my 10-year-old had scored two goals in a street hockey game at camp, a performance more impressive when realizing he was playing with a collapsed left lung.

I'm writing this article while sitting beside my resting son. It is approaching a week since my wife, Leslie, and I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of emails and texts from hundreds of friends and acquaintances across many walks of life.

I realize this personal missive has nothing to do with retailing or regulations or anything that pertains to your business. Yet, what I have always loved about the convenience store industry is our openness to share, to open up about our businesses and our lives. In my 15 years in this channel, I have come to know thousands of you, to appreciate your hobbies, political views and business acumen.

For whatever reason, we have been hit with a challenge we never sought. But with God's help and the strength of friends and family and a terrific medical team, we fully expect Daniel to celebrate his Bar-Mitzvah in three years and hopefully to marry and raise a family.

I will be taking leave from CSP for a few weeks to be with my family. I will continue to do my best to stay abreast of industry news, to read CSP Daily News and our print and other online products. But I will not have the time or focus necessary to talk to you on a regular basis.

Fortunately, we are blessed to have an amazing editorial team, a group that has not only won more than 40 journalism awards over the last eight years, but that cares passionately about you--the wonderful people who toil daily to make this the best retail channel there is. I am heartened to know that Steve Holtz, Samantha Oller, Angel Abcede, Jennifer Bulat, Greg Lindenberg, Abbie Westra, Melissa Vonder Haar, Abbey Lewis, Nico Heins and Mike Miller will continue to write stories that matter most to you, and deliver designs that make our magazine not only informative, but engaging and even fun.

I look forward to returning, knowing that my absence will have been negligible and that life will have gone on, as it must. In the Bible, we are taught that Abraham was tested 10 times.

Why was he tested so often, while his brother Nahor fathered 12 children and seemed to enjoy a life free of trial?  The answer, I believe, is that we are tested to achieve a greatness and awareness we might otherwise never have realized.

Goodbye for now, but never a farewell.

Mitch Morrison Winsight CSP By Mitch Morrison, Vice President of Retailer Relations
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