Skyla Teel Picture_4,5_30935


CASA GRANDE — It’s been a minute since I’ve written my column and that’s because, well, I didn’t have anything to say. Cue the laughter from everyone who knows me personally! But, it’s true. I’ve been doing a lot of observing these last few months and been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster like everyone I know.

On top of the quarantine stress that’s affected most of us in some way, it also seems as if someone kicked a rock over and a bunch of hateful, mean and ugly bugs scurried out from underneath. You can’t turn on the TV or look at social media without being bombarded with images of people being awful to each other, and I’m not making a political statement here, it’s everywhere, not just from one group of people. It’s been horrible to watch and when you compound that with this election and COVID crap, you have a whole lot of people whose emotions are frazzled.

Unfortunately, this last few months also involved loss for our family. Our amazing (step)dad passed away in August (not COVID related). If you’ve ever lost an important part of your family, you know what it’s been like, so I won’t go into the sad details. Instead, I’ll share the happy ones.

My (step)dad was an awesome man. He was a Peace Corps volunteer, police officer, hostage negotiator, licensed therapist and had his doctorate in biblical studies. He volunteered weekly as a hospital chaplain in Tucson as well as at an animal shelter in Green Valley, just to give a small snapshot of his character. Giving back was just a natural part of his generous and humble nature. In short, he was kind.

It’s made my heart sad that the world lost such a kind person when it seems as if they’re needed now more than ever. It feels unfair and just crappy and I’ve struggled with those feelings for longer than what’s healthy, which has left me pretty depleted and sad. I’ve been sad.

I think everyone’s felt a little sad lately, at least on some level, and the reality is sadness is part of life. Needless to say, it’s not my favorite part.

So I guess the point in today’s column is just to encourage everyone to be a little nicer. Let’s do our part to ease the sadness for others. Hold the door for a stranger, buy a coffee for the guy behind you in line, send a note to a friend whom you haven’t talked to in awhile. Do something to put some good into the world because even when things aren’t all sunshine and daisies, there are still so many reasons to love our lives, and this was a little reminder to do just that.


Contributing writer Skyla Teel is a wife, mom, professor, rodeo coach and life coach. She can be reached at


Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at

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