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Editorial: The undeniable moment that alters everything

Above all things, living in Loudoun is about family.

Family is the reason we choose to be here. The reason we buy a home in a family-friendly neighborhood or an historic town with traditional family values. It’s the reason we care about our schools or choose a job wisely. The love of family is how we measure ourselves, much more important than wealth or privilege. Family is everything.

A few weeks ago, a reader sent us an email and attached a press release about a book she had written. News organizations get a lot of emails and press releases from people who have written books. Everyone’s life is a book, so editors have to be selective about which ones to feature or to review. They have to decide if the story is relevant to local news readers, if the themes resonate to a broader audience, if the book matters. They look for a story, an deniable moment, that seems to alter everything.

Elizabeth Christy’s email was like that. “I am a long time Loudoun resident, suffer from severe chronic pain, and am an advocate for parents with chronic illness,”she wrote. “ My book will be released in June/July. I have also attached a press release (long and short versions), and am available for interviews. More information here. Thank you very much!”

The title of Christy’s book, “Why Does Mommy Hurt?” grabbed us immediately. It’s a children’s book about a difficult situation, living with chronic pain and trying to help children understand and cope. Then we scrolled down the email to the photograph of Elizabeth and her 4-year-old son, taken by Becky A. Gardner at Claude Moore Park in Sterling. This is how a book becomes a front page story.

Crystal Owens, the Times-Mirror’s managing editor and the mother of two young sons, took on the assignment immediately. Her touching story about Christy and her son goes straight to the undeniable moment that alters everything.

Family. Love. Life. That’s why we’re here.


This made me cry (tears of joy). I am so thankful to you, your paper, and Crystal for printing my story, and spreading awareness of the struggles that people with chronic illness face.  This has made my day… my year… and probably my life. A million times, thank you!

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