Death of an Inspiration

AP Photo

Mike Wallace – Journalist

Being a journalist, the death of Mike Wallace was a significant loss in my world. Of course, Mike Wallace being who he was, he had a significant impact on the ENTIRE world, for most of his 60 years in the business.

But one day earlier, in a small town, another gifted man died. The “Painter of Light” and author of inspirational books, overdosed on prescription drugs chased with alcohol alone in his home in California.

In this world, a hard, rough and tumble place of immeasurable beauty that’s occupied by beings capable of unspeakable cruelty, two men saw it with different eyes and gifts. One took it for what it was and allowed us to see it that way, too. The other wanted us to see the beauty that God created and not the dangerous, dark, and disreputable side that he knew was there.

Thomas Kincaid, like many treasured artists, was ridiculed by the “experts” and wounded somewhere in his spirit in a way that he could not allow to heal. The light God gave him went out and maybe that’s why he was so passionate about capturing it on canvas. Was he looking for it? Hoping to create so much in the world that his spirit would find its own again?

Mike Wallace, like the reporters of integrity before him, didn’t appear to much care about what anyone else thought. He exposed the dark side so we could see it in the light. He pursued the unvarnished truth of things and landed his verbal blows with an accuracy that reporters still critique with envy. His interviews indicate that by the time he retired in 2006, he had no illusions regarding the world or himself.

But both men wrestled with depression. Kinkade battled his darkness with alcohol and as one might predict, the alcohol bought him no light. Wallace also experienced some years of depression that he fought with the help of professionals and some medications. He kept his dark time a secret from the public so he wasn’t perceived “weak” or “vulnerable.” It would seem that the demands Wallace put on himself far exceeded those of his colleagues, family, or his Creator.

Mike Wallace, dead at age 93, a man who found peace with his regrets, eventually admitted his weaknesses, and was highly regarded by people around the world for his dogged determination to reveal truth no matter how uncomfortable it might be.

Thomas Kinkade, dead at age 54, a man who brought light to the world with his paintings and writing, who was loved by many not only for the peace that his artwork instilled, but for the hope he seemed to stand for in our world.

Two guiding lights extinguished in the same week. I’m not going to sugar coat it. I’m sad at the loss of them both.  And I’m glad that I’m a journalist and can’t paint worth a darn. There are days when the world looks really dark, but when we stare the truth in the eyes and stick together, we create our own light.

Until next time – I wish you all light.


About NL Quatrano

Author of Murder in Black and White, Still Shot, Merciful Blessings, Keeping Faith, Always Chasing 'Em, and numerous published short stories. Award-winning author, speaker, editor, and ghostwriter, Nancy owns a full-time editing, writing, and specialty publishing business: On-Target Words/WC Publishing. Volunteer/member of professional writing organizations including Authors Guild, Florida Writers Assoc., Sisters in Crime, Florida Author and Publishers Assoc, Independent Book Publishers Assoc., and AWAI. 2010 Professional Woman of the Year by the NAPW. Linked in Editor Pick May 2013. International Women's Leadership Association nominee for Outstanding Leadership 2014. View all posts by NL Quatrano

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