Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Community made big difference in time of strife

I recently received a condolence card from a dear old friend in New Jersey (my husband Chuck Strum and I moved from Ridgewood. N.J., to Weybridge five years ago). In the card my friend wrote “my biggest wish is that we all lived nearby on the same street, in the same town as the old days so we could simply be there for each other.” While my friend was imagining a place from the distant past (she and I never lived in New Jersey even in the same town), I realized that I live in such a place right now.

Throughout the 15 months of Chuck’s devastating illness, we were surrounded (even during a global pandemic) by loving, caring Vermont neighbors and friends who were always there for us. From pre-pandemic rides up to UVM Medical Center for radiation treatments, to the loan of a house to escape kitchen construction at this inconvenient time, to welcome home after surgery signs and Happy Mothers’ Day chalked on our walk, to storing our extra car, to more meals and sweet treats and offers of food than one can imagine, to phone calls, to walks, to little gifts and flowers left on our porch during the depths of the pandemic — Vermont friends and neighbors you were there for us.

And now, as I move forward on my journey without Chuck you are there for me with more walks, talks, lunch and dinner invitations and warm hearted, genuine offers to help in any way I might need. I am so grateful for this community. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Becky Strum

Weybridge

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