Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The power of community

My friend and neighbor has a new knee and I have a new appreciation for the value of community, or is the word simply friendship?

From Saturday through Friday nights last week, I stayed at my friend’s house as she began the road to recovery following her Thursday morning knee replacement surgery. All went well and she was able to put some weight on her knee that very day. But getting back to a normal routine, doing the things that need to be done to keep body and soul together, takes some time and a bit of help.

That’s where her friends came in. One person organized a “meal train” and every night a lovely meal appeared. Other friends volunteered to take her to physical therapy every other day. Still others provided a whole array of medical equipment ranging from a stationery bicycle to a slick little plastic envelope that made it much easier to put on a long supportive stocking—and everything in-between. A fat envelope came from her church with a stack of get-well greetings.  People called on the phone, sent emails and stopped by to check on her.

Much has written about the positive effect created by having a sense of community. This week I saw it in action. My friend is a giver and she has been helping others in big and small ways for a long time, never with the anticipation of getting anything in return. People notice and they remember. And when it is their turn to step up, they do.

My friend has enough good food in her house to last her for a long time. And for the next several weeks, she will have a free and friendly ride to the physical therapist. Every little gesture is contributing to her healing and lightening the task of getting her new knee to function normally. I predict that, because of her friends, it will happen sooner rather than later.

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