A brisk winter breeze punctuated the Halifax air as mourners moved from Beth Car Baptist Church to graveside at St. John’s Episcopal Church cemetery Saturday to honor the memory of Sylvia Lovelace Overton McLaughlin, a woman of intelligence, calm demeanor and even manner that made her a Halifax and community favorite whose counsel was widely sought by young and old alike.

Broken hearts abound, not only at graveside on this mild winter day but scattered about in solitary numbness as mere mortals cope with the indescribable loss of mother, protector, defender and friend.

So it was that Sylvia’s many friends, family members and newspaper colleagues gathered briefly at her Saturday morning service to bid farewell to the gentlewoman, a veteran journalist, teacher, beloved mother and faithful friend.

It is at times like these we are called to count our losses, face our tomorrows and look longingly into our futures as we are reminded of Paul’s admonition to continue the Christian fight as we struggle to find God’s purpose for our lives.

We must always look to the Lord, the Apostle Paul reminds us.

Nature’s soothing cloak of warm sunshine Saturday reminded us that life goes on, and we are called to give thanks for a new year that presents joys unknown, as we seek strength to face what our tomorrows may hold.

Paula I. Bryant is the editor of The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at pbryant@gazettevirginian.com.​

Paula I. Bryant is the editor of The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at pbryant@gazettevirginian.com.