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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Humans are most humans when you need them the most.



We're back home, to a clean house, a trimmed yard, a stocked refrigerator thanks to wonderful neighbors and friends who got together and prepared this lovely welcome for us.

Port Orford is a small town, a thousand people or so, half of whom are part-timers.  Those of us who live here all year long have become accustomed to each other's rhythm, each other's special circumstances. On a second's notice, my neighbor Joyce and Jo coordinated the upkeep of my empty house, the maintenance of our gardens, the stocking of the refrigerator.

Dragging ourselves in last week, after 800+ miles of traveling with a caged cat who didn't enjoy the trip at all, we were tired, hungry, overwhelmed, expecting to find a weedy yard, dead plants, a messy house we had left when we rushed down to Long Beach after getting a 911 call from the sheriff's office in Fullerton where our son had been a victim of a homicide.

But, I knew that about Port Orford.

What I didn't know and didn't expect was the enormous amount of love and neighborliness   Long Beach and Los Angeles showed us.  People came to work on the garden and the house from miles away, day after day. Neighbors brought food and tools, put up with  noise and  constant crowds.  They eased our pain with grace and consideration.  The people on Terrace Drive were enormously congenial.  Even when we blocked their driveways to accommodate trucks delivering  sand and amendments,  neighbors jumped in to help unload.

I'm still wrapping my head around  last month's events. I'm still in shock in so many ways. But, I want to tell the world that we humans can be most human to one another in our gravest times, in the times that count the most.

So, thank you Port Orford.
Most grateful to you, Long Beach.
Thank you Fullerton's Sheriff's Department.
Gratitude to the people of L3, the company Brian worked at for their generous and heartfelt support.


35 comments:

Brian Miller said...

i am glad you got love throughout this journey...i dont know that we will ever fully understand somethings...but of the love i am grateful for you....

ellen abbott said...

what a wonderful gift to come home to.

Linda said...

As humans we all can think we are so different from one another, but when it comes down to what matters in life we are all the same.

Helen said...

Dear Rosaria,
I fell asleep thinking of you last night, awakened with you on my mind. I wish there was something I could do or say to make it better ~ realizing it's not possible. I hadn't known the circumstances surrounding Brian's death until this morning. A fresh stab of pain for everyone reading your post. I tried writing a poem dedicated to you and your family this morning ... no words came forth. Please know even though we are not in Port Orford, we are with you in spirit.
Love, Helen

the walking man said...

Rosaria
Haven't been around much so all of this was new to me but you are correct that in places where humans are still human there is a feeling of what happens to one happens to all. It is this which allows mankind to retain the better part of our nature.

For your loss I am sorry and I hope that you can find comfort in knowing that your son lives on in the house of his ancestors and sleeps well and comfortable and for you and the husband may you find peace and enjoy a great long life in this small town which has adopted you.

Eva Gallant said...

I'm so glad you have the love of neighbors and friends nearby to help you through this terrible time. hugs.amensow

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

It's so wonderful to read about the love and caring that has surrounded you during this horrifying and heartbreaking tragedy. So glad you had people to help so much in Los Angeles and Long Beach -- and then to come home to a clean house, well-tended garden, fully stocked fridge -- what a blessing you have in neighbors!

ds said...

To you, who gives so much, giving love is easy. And that it was there when you needed it so (still is, btw)...well...restores faith in human nature. I am so glad that you were able to receive so much support in both locations. Hang on...

Rob-bear said...

Some truly amazing experiences have come out of Brian's appalling death. I can imagine that you ere, perhaps, a little overwhelmed by all the activities.
But we do get by with a little help from our friends.
Continuing blessings and Bear hugs.

Hilary said...

I'm glad for you that you have so many loving and caring people in your life, Rosaria. Much of that is because of the kind of person you are. What goes around comes around. Hugs to you.

Snappy Di said...

Most humans are truly good at heart. I'm so happy they all came together and helped you. I am on the east Coast of our wonderful country... if there is anything I can do, please let me know. I do free blog headers and sprucing up.. if that would put a smile on your face please feel free to let me know. It's my way of helping out. :-))

Di

Roberta said...

I am glad that people surround you and are helping you in this terrible time. I didn't realize that this had been a homicide either. I guess I thought it was an accident. Either way, doesn't make it any easier to accept.

Z said...

Dear Rosaria, you are such a gracious lady.

quilterliz said...

G'day Rosaria.In times of need, we humans unite together, to share a burden, help a friend or neighbour, lend an ear, lend our hearts, share happy times and sad times and above all else, we know how to be there for someone when it's needed. Take care. Liz...

#1Nana said...

Yes, we can be cynical about how alienated we have become in this modern age, but in times of trouble we pull together and support each other. What a different world this would be if we could carry that same love on a daily basis.
I hope the gift of love you are feeling helps you heal.

Linda Myers said...

It seems that we're at our best as a species at those times we need each other. I'm glad you've been so well cared for.

Bricky said...

May you and those close to you continue to recover from your terrible tragedy. The love, caring and respect of humankind for each other (and for our universe) that you describe is what I've only quite recently come to believe is what many people euphemize as God, Allah, Mohammed or whatever. Personally, I don't care what it's called. May it continue forever.

Robyn said...

Rosaria... I have a kind thought for you everyday.
I did try to email you, but the email addresss is not current and was returned.
Big love to you from way over here
x Robyn

yaya said...

It's easy to think the whole world is a bad place..it's good to know that people care, share and love and come out in droves to help others in pain and sorrow. All I can offer is my prayers for your family and I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings and the good works of your friends and neighbors.

Bonnie said...

You have offered so much help and inspiration to so many in your blog - it is time now for you to receive.

I'm so happy that you are the recipient of so many expressions of love and care. It cannot repair the tear in your heart but it is comforting to allow oneself to be taken care of for a bit.

Big, tender hug to you Rosaria.

Joani said...

Hugs!

Wander to the Wayside said...

I assumed that Brian had died from something like heart attack, Rosaria, though now you say it was homicide! Though at this point I guess the manner of death isn't near as important as the loss itself. So glad you're home now, and know you will find comfort in that. Your neighbors did a wonderful thing, and I'm sure they'll still be there for you long after this in whatever way you may need them...

Maggie May said...

What a terrible shock to hear the kind of death and the way you were told.
I am really sorry .... I'd assumed it was an accident .....but so pleased that your little community made you feel so welcome and filled your fridge while you were away.
That is true friendship.
Hoping that things will get easier for you as more time passes. You are much in my mind right now.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

dianefaith said...

Something about having an orderly house is calming, so I'm glad you were able to come home to that. I think about you often.

becky said...

So glad for the love you've been shown...I'm now in shock, hearing how Brian died...worse than I'd imagined. So glad people come to you with kindness in their hands during such horrific circumstances...

NitWit1 said...

I am so glad you have such support which is what we humans are supposed to be, but somehow are frozen as to what to do. It is the little things all together.

It is wonderful you have been the rcipient in several states, and I just know if the occasion arises, you will respond in a similar fashion.

Amanda said...

you are a remarkable person, rosaria. in your deepest pain you point out the positive, the good in humanity. i am so happy to know that you are surrounded by love and comfort in this time of sorrow.

sending love and prayers to you and your family ~

with love,

amanda

MerCyn said...

Your family of relatives, friends, neighbors and strangers love and support you and are thinking of you in the days and months ahead.

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

What a comfort it must be to have such a strong and supportive network around you, not forgetting Newkie. Take Care you are in my thoughts.

cheshire wife said...

Good to know that you have such thoughtful neighbours. I hope that they will continue to give you the support that you need.

She Writes said...

Let people love you guys through this. It's amazing what comfort friends and strangers will offer when given the chance to know it's for something real.

That Janie Girl said...

Thankful you all were surrounded by love.

And you still are, you know. Especially here on this blog.

Ann Best said...

"when you need them the most"...so true. This is JUST lovely.
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

Pat transplanted to MN said...

How wonderful that the people became really human as we would all like around us. Forward moving despite life's setbacks, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

The Broad said...

Your post touches me so ... The richness of the love out of the horror and the pain must give you some measure of peace at this terrible time.