By Mary Robb Jackson

“How best to begin – at an ending.”

There are 34-spiral bound calendars on my desk. The first is 1980. Every white square – except for holidays, sick days, and vacations is filled with a story. There are stories that are so sad that they still make my heart ache with the memory of them…and others, that celebrate how profound is the human spirit. Nearly 34-years of stories that I’ve been privileged to tell here at KDKA…and 5-years before that at WIIC.

I have had an education, unlike any other. People have welcomed me into their homes with great kindness. Over the years, viewers have shared so many of my life’s benchmarks…my marriage to Michael Challik…the arrival of our daughter, Mariel…and later, the support and prayers during my two bouts with Cancer. I hope that you know that you have been my extended family…I could not have wished for more.

As for my buddies in the newsroom – they are family too. We have lived in each other’s pockets going on four decades now. I know that I have not always been the easiest person, being the contrarian that I am…but we have been there for each other when it most counts. You all have taught me to be a better person. I will miss all of you…as I already miss those who mentored me over the past years – and who are no longer here to hug goodbye.

I will also miss my competitors, who have always made me work harder…

I love you guys…those whose stories I’ve told…viewers…co-workers…competitors…friends…

There is a Native American Proverb that I came across at some point, it says: “Tell me a FACT – I’ll learn…Tell me a TRUTH – I’ll believe…but Tell me a STORY – and it will live in my heart forever…

Thank you for sharing your stories with me…it has been a privilege – and a blessing.

You will live in my heart forever.