By Bobby Harrison
Daily Journal Jackson Bureau
JACKSON – Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, said “the spirit moved me” on a couple of occasions Wednesday to go the well of the House to enter the fray of debate.
But Holland, on his first day back at the Capitol since Jan. 23, displayed a trait that he would be the first to admit that he does not always have – restraint. Instead, the outspoken Holland, quietly listened to debate and voted.
The veteran House member is still recovering from major gallbladder surgery, which he revealed Wednesday was life-threatening.
“The day I left the hospital the doctor told me it was absolutely a modern miracle I was walking out of here,” said Holland, who revealed he lost 62 pounds during the illness and was still weak and recovering.
Holland said he “went septic” with high spikes in his blood pressure before undergoing major gallbladder surgery.
Holland had three procedures related to the ruptured gallbladder and was discharged from University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson in early February. He returned home to his farm in Plantersville to recover.
Holland arrived at the Capitol on Wednesday about 15 minutes after the session began. When he entered the House chamber, he received a standing ovation and spent most of the rest of the morning with members coming by his desk to welcome him back.
“It’s great to have him back,” said Rep. Nick Bain, D-Corinth, just before House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, stopped to shake his hand.
“I feel great to be back,” said Holland, who has been in the House representing portions of Lee County since 1984. “It is great to see my friends, but I have been too sick to miss it, to tell you the truth.
“But after 31 years you miss anything. It is part of my life. After 31 years of stacking BBs, you would get pretty good at it.”
Holland said he was moved by all the well-wishes he received, though he did not communicate with many people.
“I had only a choice amount of energy,” he said. “I could spend it on seeing someone or my recovery.”
Holland said he was nearly “in isolation” during the recovery, though, he did venture out to see Priscilla Presley when she visited her late, former husband’s Elvis Presley’s birthplace in Tupelo on Feb. 23.
The often controversial and outspoken Holland joked, “I figured about half the people in the state wanted me to go away. I misread that.”