• suemullennh

Simple Acts Brings Hope

Dear Bedford,

I'm not going to lie; the holidays had me a little nervous this year.

With our children and grandkids living beyond our reach, with family members and friends uneasy about COVID, and with so many of our traditions depending upon the presence of other people, I wasn't really sure what to expect.

Would 2020 be the year that snuffed out merry and bright?!

I learned long ago that lots of folks struggle during the holidays. The financial challenges, the emotional highs and lows, the expectations and disappointments can be overwhelming for some. Add isolation and separation to the equation and it isn't terribly surprising to have had neighbors and friends who failed to see the "magic" of the season.

But, just as some questioned how they were going to get through these uncertain times, others conspired to "keeping spirits bright."

Kristen Allyn Menard's Right Here @ Home mobilized an army of people determined to guarantee that folks who needed help were able to put presents under the tree. Stay tuned for updates on her efforts to create a non-profit that operates year round.

In the Bringing Bedford Together group, several people reported purchasing actual trees to be delivered as a holiday surprise. Others offered to contribute lights and ornaments.

Local places of worship reported record breaking donations of food and gift cards. Neighborhood kids volunteered to shovel for elderly neighbors, while their parents did their grocery run.

It certainly seems that as the days got shorter and darker, the kindness and generosity of our community grew. As my mother used to say, "There are angels among us." Never more so than now.

Even though simple pleasures can not erase all of the harsh realities that many of you are facing as 2020 draws to an end, I hope that you are surrounded by the kindness of others and the promise of better days ahead.

On Privet Hedge Lane, our events were simpler this year. We were grateful to walk the neighborhood and admire the lights, ZOOM with loved ones near and far, and delight in the unexpected: cookies from a friend, unanticipated cards, and the balmy weather in December that allowed us to stay outside that much longer. I want to take the opportunity to offer many thanks to all the folks who chose to channel extra energy into others this year. Watching the excitement and gratitude of so many was the best gift of all.

As this year recedes in the rearview mirror, as we continue to face the unknown, I hope you have all been able to find both joy in the people you love and continued faith in a future filled with merry and bright.

Best to

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