Letter to the editor: Addison County is truly an extraordinary place to live

I have lived in Addison County for 40 years — as a resident of Ripton, Middlebury and Weybridge, even seasonally in Salisbury. I have worked here in Environmental Education, three restaurants, Financial Services, Porter Medical Center and finally at End of Life Services. This is an extraordinary place, ideal for raising a family. It is all about the kids. This community shows up for the kids — on the fields, in the pool, on the ice or in the car — we grew up with our kids, their friends and their parents.

This letter started as a thanks to the “Addy Indy,” where our diverse and engaged voices are heard. This paper connects the heartbeats of the community. I have counted on it for stories, resources and pictures over all these years. I have used it express my voice, mostly to send kudos to our coaches, teachers and those who have shown me random acts of kindness. I’ve written an occasional Ways of Seeing or Living with Dying Partnership column as well. This paper is a lifeline.

Then my thoughts of thankfulness widened to this neighborhood of individuals — you. In so many ways you matter. I remember when you

– groomed our hair, our dogs, our ski tracks

– provided us healing with compassion

– turned green, wore green, championed green

– gave of yourself through your words, walks, wares

– played golf or music

– donated anonymously or carried a burden

– sustained us when our cupboards were bare

– journeyed with me as a colleague, therapist, volunteer or dreamer.

I cherish my faith community, but I have also been welcomed into several others broadening my exploration of the divine.

I have appreciated when we haven’t seen eye to eye — you make the world whole.

I have been mindful, bashful, joyful, tearful inside your patience.

I have admired you from afar.

I hope you see yourself here, because I am speaking about you.

But it is in times of grief that we truly see the light of humanity. And for this I hold the ultimate appreciation. You — whether you are An or Zoey or all the names in between — you join us in our loss and leaving. You mow grass, you send kind words, you bring flowers, you embrace our sadness, you capture inspiration in your cards, you wish us well. Sometimes our sorrow is so tender we need to hold our solitude. Sometimes our darkness is lightened by the gathering at a Celebration of Life. Sometimes we just need a companion in silence.

Sometimes a touch is enough.

I celebrate the spark of courage, curiosity, resiliency and grace that dwells here and in each of you.

As Winnie the Pooh says, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good-bye so hard.”

I shall visit, return to these roots, knowing that I will always be at home. With deepest gratitude to you,

Laurie Borden


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