I lost my mother last month. Eighty-nine was a good old age to go home.

The difference is this was the second time we lost her. Alzheimer’s took her from us the first time – 12 years ago. Not having the ability to think straight, communicate or show emotion must be awful! At least I think it would be if I had to trade places. The very thought of not being able to communicate my feelings, concerns, joys, ideas or sorrows to my loved ones, peers and associates would leave me feeling quite smothered.

We are all very glad that her struggles are over and that she is home in the arms of her Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Her name is Ruth, and we know she is talking with the clearest of understanding and joy today.

The entire Blaydes and Callison clans thank all of you for the absolute kindness and love shown to our families by this community of friends and neighbors. Lake Highlands is truly a unique place to live in this urban world in which we find ourselves.

Give me that small town feeling every time. You folks certainly have demonstrated that feeling to me and mine.

BIG-BOX VOTE

I am glad the Wal-Mart decision is behind us. Many of you in the immediate area are disappointed in my decision to allow the big-box retailer to join our retail mix. I hope that your major concerns are put to rest by the actions of their personnel and administrators. I assure you that my council staff and I will not leave a stone unturned to prevent Wal-Mart from being bad neighbors. Please believe that my decision was based on the desires of the district as a whole.

SKILLMAN DEVELOPMENT

We can all celebrate the start of the re-creation of the shopping center at Skillman and Walnut Hill. The excitement of seeing the renovation begin, I hope, will be the catalyst for others to pick up on along the Skillman corridor.

LAKE HIGHLANDS TIF

Passage of the long awaited Lake Highlands TIF (Tax Increment Finance) District in October was also a big element in extending new development along Skillman. Developers are moving all along our major corridors looking for redevelopment opportunities.

I will keep you informed of interested parties and projects throughout the coming months.

As always, I thank you for allowing me the honor of representing you on the Dallas City Council.