What is community when it hurts?

Submitted by Nastinia Bailey on February 3, 2012 - 4:09pm
what do we do when a community member is having a hard time?

My parents live in an apartment connected to our house. My mom always knocks when she comes over but my dad pops in and out of our house many times a day (and it feels okay!). This week I've been missing the sound of his footsteps. Last week he unexpectedly was admitted to hospital for quadruple bypass surgery.  Now he is working hard in the hospital to recover and heal and get through each long night.

What has our experience of community been in this time of stress and uncertainty? Delicious. There have been many emails and facebook comments and phone calls of support but you know what stands out the most is the food that has been given. What is it about food that touches way more than the stomach?! I could have made that spaghetti and sauce and garlic bread (I was upright and functioning - no broken arms) but the fact that it was prepared by a friend gave it super powers. The bottle of wine too was more than just a bottle of wine. It was a gesture that said: "Here, sit, relax, eat, drink and savour this moment. All will be well."

I've always been a giver of food but after being on the receiving end, I want to do it even more! I've learned that it feels much better to hear "When can I bring dinner?" than "Let me know if I can help." Even if dinner is not helpful, the receiver of the offer can say "Instead of dinner, how about you return my overdue library books and drop off cookies for the kids?" When we say "Let me know..." it means we're counting on the other person to be brave and honest enough to ask for what they really need - and they have to face the awkwardness of asking - and possible rejection.

What have you learned from being community when it hurts? Have you found anything as powerful as giving food?



love it


Learning to recieve from someone that gives as much as you do! Good on you.

Much joy to you and your family and especially your Dad as he recovers.

I am so glad that you felt such joy and warmth through this. Neighbours and family we can rely on, how good is that!