Last night, my friend Monica Kaufman Pearson anchored her last newscast from Atlanta’s award-winning WSB TV. Yes, after a stellar 37 years, she’s stepping down from the day in/day out duties of covering today’s breaking stories, and opening a new chapter in her life.

Oh, you didn’t know we were friends? Well, forgive me if I’m stretching it a bit, but as anyone who’s ever met her knows, she treated each of us who were lucky enough to meet her ‘live and in person’ as her friend. In the times over the years when she and I chatted at events or on occasions, she always greeted me with a big smile and ‘It’s so nice to see you again, Kyle!’ She couldn’t have been warmer or more interested in our conversation if I’d been one of her closest friends, and not just one of her many, many admirers.

What a gift! Especially coming from a woman who embodied every wonderful aspect of the multi-tasking life. A single mom, a barrier-breaking news anchor – the first woman and the first minority anchor, a killer singing voice, but also a tireless community volunteer, from reading to the kids at the local elementary, to sharing her battle with breast cancer. Encouraging by her example, inspiring all of us to join her in her activism. The Junior League, United Way, NAACP, AKA, her church. And so many, many more.  As has been said by her colleagues, she wasn’t ‘anchored to the desk, she was anchored in the community.’

So this morning, Monica, as you begin to write your next chapter – from pursuing a Master’s Degree at the University of Georgia, writing your book of Miss Hattie-isms to the luxury of just ‘taking a nap’ – we want to say ENJOY… and ‘thanks’… not only for educating and informing all of us on the important news of our day, but for showing us what’s really important in life… the impact we have on each other, and the relationships we build day-by-day.

We can’t wait to see what you do next!  And when I run into you in person – which I hope so much I will – it will be like catching up with a long-time friend who’s writing a new book. I can’t wait to hear how the plot develops!

With love, thanks and anticipation!