Reflecting on the Importance of Connections

Especially during times of upheaval and worry, community matters.

Connectivity to New Westminster is something I took for granted until recently when this community carried me through my husband’s critical health issue and continues to play a significant role in in his recovery.

Working for the City of New Westminster, living in New Westminster and raising our school age daughter in the same community has given me the luxury of getting to know a lot of people in my community. However, sometimes this luxury is not as “luxurious” as it may sound. Quick trips to grocery store can turn into an ad hoc meeting with a community member resulting in action items that I must somehow remember between buying milk and carrots.  Eating at a restaurant is sometimes an opportune time to be cornered by someone who wants to share their opinion on every issue with the City, even though it doesn’t pertain to my portfolio.  While I understand and applaud their enthusiasm, I honestly just need milk!

So, when word of my husband’s health and hospitalization started to spread, I didn’t realize how much I would actually start to value the connectedness to this community. While I have amazing family and friends, many live outside the lower mainland so when I say connectedness to New Westminster carried me, it’s true.

Well wishes at the grocery store, hugs at school drop off, the tweets- it seemed everyone in the City was collectively sending healing thoughts and prayers. There were offers to help in anyway they could, and many did. They dropped off meals (like that delicious quiche missing from the plate in the photo), babysat our daughter, kept up the yard, put out the garbage- honestly, I don’t even recall exactly who did what. It all just magically happened. Even now, as my husband goes for his healthy heart walks I am comforted in knowing if anything were to happen to him as he was out walking alone, someone in our neighbourhood would help him.

While residents can be divisive about traffic management, affordable family housing, festivals and multitude of other issues, this is ultimately a City with a solid and caring community. The outpouring of support has left me embracing the connectiveness my family has to this community. Bumping into someone I know while getting milk at the grocery store is now considered a privilege and no longer a nuisance.

 

Ruby Campbell

Ruby Campbell grew up in East Vancouver, moved to New Westminster 11 years ago and lives in Sapperton with her husband and their 10 year old daughter.

Ruby Campbell is a really valued member of the Tenth to the Fraser community. Interested in joining our pool of writers? Please see these submission guidelines.

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