One bright spot during the visitation and funeral of Mississippi State University radio broadcaster Jack Cristil was the opportunity to see and talk with my old college classmate and friend, U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee of Tupelo.
Nunnelee, the Republican former state legislator who is seeking his third term in Congress, has traveled a hard road since our last visit back in March, when my wife and I met Alan and his wife, Torie, for a hamburger after work on a Friday night.
In the interim, the congressman’s life – and the lives of his family – changed in dramatic fashion. Nunnelee was diagnosed with a brain tumor. While surgeons at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, removed a mass from Nunnelee’s brain during a 12-hour procedure on June 9, the congressman suffered a significant stroke. The stroke inflicted speech and mobility damage.