Dear Friends and Neighbors: I have lived in this wonderful community of Richmond for the past twenty seven years. It’s been a wonderful place to raise my two children Adam and Beth. Beth is now grown, a college student, and I continue to partially support her during her college years.
As most of you know, I lost Adam in Iraq four years ago and the town was wonderful. I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the support and kind words, especially allowing me to place a bench at the Round Church Park in remembrance of him, which will bring me back to visit often. I hope that when soccer and little league season starts, you will all remember that Adam played soccer and baseball here in Richmond. I hope that when you see a log drifting down the Winooski River on a hot summer day, you will remember that Adam, Anthony and Dylan would float down the Winooski River. I hope that on the 4th of July, Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day, when you see all the flags, it’s because of Adam that they can be replaced at no cost to the town.
Beth and I must leave this wonderful community now. I have sold my home and will move to a place that is almost as peaceful. Everyone say’s that I raised two wonderful children but the fact is, the families of Richmond also helped. This is truly a wonderful community, Beth and I will miss this place immensely.
And more evidence of Vermonters’ capacity to support their neighbors was shared on the Charlotte FPF…
I noticed a very kind comment from someone in Charlotte (who I can only hope is on Front Porch Forum) posted about an essay I wrote for Salon.com.
It brought up a nagging guilt over the fact that I never said anything close to a proper thank you for everything so many people in our town — those who know me and those who don’t — did for our family when my husband was dying of cancer. I can only plead overwhelming grief, exhaustion and the fact that every resource I could summon was directed at keeping our teetering little boat afloat. And then so much time passed.
But I was raised with better manners. So I hope you’ll now accept my utter gratitude for the meals, the shoveled steps, incredibly, the beautiful bulbs planted in our yard so that we would have a bright memory of Kevin in spring. For that and so much of the organization of these things I especially thank my dear friends Liza and Tom Wright. But there are so many more. We do, as the commenter noted, live in a loving community and I feel enormously lucky for that.
The feelings expressed in the essay were never meant to ignore or diminish any of these considerable gifts. There are clearly things the best intentioned neighbors cannot fix.