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Monday, September 12, 2011

After September 11th

Hi Everyone-

It is September 12th.

Canterbury residents were glad to have each other to watch the memorials with yesterday.  Having people around to turn to and to be with is a great benefit for anyone, many of the residents who previously were isolated in their homes really appreciate having people around (more than they thought they would).  We noticed too, the many stories of kindnesses shown during the tragedies of September 11th, 2001.  One act of kindness goes a long way.  I went to a Habitat for Humanity site in Hartford on Saturday morning.  The kindness of all those volunteers hammering away, and all the people who donated food for the event was amazing.

Yesterday, having people to watch the memorial with made a big difference.  Mr. Mark Twain said, "To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world".  If you are having an emergency, or are feeling a little down, you can easily find someone to help or just to talk to here at Canterbury.  No one is excluded in a community.

Today we are thinking about kindness.  If you have a good heart, a good life will follow, I think.

Winston Churchill said it best; "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give"

There are so many talented people here, and they know how to give back.  A former ER nurse was in the office this morning, wanting to be sure our residents are prepared for emergencies and wondering when the next resident's meeting is scheduled so she could do just that; remind everyone they need flashlights and the like.

Three of us met in the office this morning about our gardens.  A resident is getting her watering can as I am writing, to water the mums she purchased and donated from a sale at her church Saturday.  She is anxious to get them planted in the ground (we are re-doing all the front landscaping).

From Emerson: "One of the most beautiful compensations in life is that no man can help another without helping himself".

"Wherever there is a human being there is an opportunity for kindness" said Seneca, and our residents seem to instinctively know this.  They are interested in each other!  They want to know each other's stories and they support each other in many ways.

I'm glad I stopped while writing this.  In my head I thought without even realizing;  "I want to get this blog finished", but a resident wanted to tell me a story about the Griswold Inn in Essex (she was suggesting we go there for a van trip).  I am here writing about kindness and being a friend, so I stopped writing and listened. 

What I heard was a story reiterating that life can be short, so it is important to take the time to listen and be there for each other.
While she was at the Griswold Inn for a sing-a-long with her sister many years ago, she said a man there had the most beautiful voice they'd ever heard.  He came over and asked her and her sister to sing.  Turns out he was the VP of a big company in the area.  Singing with him, she described; "you couldn't miss".  The people who had come in from the boats thought they were professionals!

A week later her sister called and said "don't look at the paper".  That very man had perished in an auto accident.

Life can be short, or it can be long.  We do not know.  So let us make the most of each day we are given by being kind to each other!

Good seeing you again :)  Glad we have each other!

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