Lockhart’s Illness Reminds Us What’s Important

It is with great sadness that we learn former Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart is seriously ill.

She left the speaker’s office just days ago, deciding last year to retire the end of December from the Legislature, where she served 16 years, the last four as speaker.

Lockhart, R-Provo, was the first female speaker of the Utah House.

And as I’ve written before, she did a fine job and was well liked and admired.

When such bad things befall good people, you begin to wonder: How or why did this happen?

In Lockhart’s case, her ailment, a rare disease I’m told, one asks: Could it have been brought on, in part, by the stress one feels in high public office?

I don’t know. And I doubt if anyone does.

But it does remind us of the fragility of life.

And how we all don’t know when our time is up, or nearing so.

Certainly Lockhart would say that her greatest achievement is her family and friends.

But she and her family can also take solace in knowing she served the people of Utah well.

She made some difficult decisions – like pursuing a Utah House investigation of then-Attorney General John Swallow.

But she also kept her word and ran her speakership in an open and fair way.

She made friends across the aisle; she cried when former House Minority Leader David Litvack, D-Salt Lake, told her he was retiring from the House; she became close friends with former House Minority Leader Jen Seelig, D-Salt Lake, and attended her out-of-state wedding recently.

For now, all those who know Becky Lockhart and admire her can do is hope and pray for the best.

Politics is important, as is public service.

But all that pales, does it not, when we face our most human conditions.