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Hometown Pride

A person I know came to me the other day with a problem.
Something that they were struggling with and something they really needed to talk about.
I did what anybody in my shoes would have done.
I listened.
The issue involved mental health. It wasn't their mental health it was that of a loved one.
Those of you who know me are aware of how important it is to me that the stigma surrounded mental health is dispelled.
So after she had finished speaking to me, I shared my story with her to show her that their was no judgement on my part.
She appreciated it.
I could see she felt better and we then carried on with our day.
The following day she came to see me again and she thanked me for my time.
I didn't need thanks
As I said above, I did what anybody in my shoes would have done.
I listened.
She felt I went above and beyond her expectations of the conversation.
I felt a bit embarrassed.
I didn't feel I had done anything special.
I came home and I started the think.
I will never turn away a person who needs a chat.
I might ask them to come back a little later but I will always make time for them.
Surely this is just something that people do.
Apparently it is not.
I wondered where this desire to help had come from.
I didn't have to wonder for long.
It came from my home town.
14 years ago, my entire town did that for me.
People I didn't know that well held me when I cried.
People I had spoken to once or twice hugged me when I looked down.
People I had seen since school sat beside me and held my hand
Or walked with me when I needed a walk.
One memory that will always stay with me is my neighbour Dominic who I knew but not particularly well. He actually held me up while I stood and watched my sister be buried.
Nobody ever expected thanks.
Nobody ever recognition.
I was one of them and they were going to be there for me.
I look at who I am now and that love that I received from my home town is what made me who I am today
That love is what taught me the importance of just being there.
The importance of listening
The importance of caring.
My town had a tragedy last week.
I knew one member of the family involved but I feel as though I know them all.
I have watched a little girl grow up via Facebook because she was in photos with my friend's children.
I felt all the over here, my town grieve for a little girl.
My friends hurt over their loss.
I felt their love pouring out for her parents.
As broken hearted as I was watching all this from abroad, one other thought ran through my mind.
Of all the places in the world to live in the time of tragedy, they are probably living in the best possible place.
My Facebook feed has been a web of love and support.
Of mourning and grieving as a community.
It took me back a decade to when I needed that love and support.
I felt proud of my home town
I felt proud of my friends.
The resilience they share is inspiring
The love they spread is inspiring
And not once does anyone expect anything in return.
That town has gone through so much loss
It has had more than its fair share of tragedy
But the people in that town just share their love and kindness.
My dad was talking to a girl the other day who I had helped source a gift over Christmas.
She told him what I had done.
It was a simple task for me, my feeble effort astounded him.
When he and I spoke about it, I said to him that it was nothing. I was able to help so I did.
I will always try to meet or support or help people from my home town.
It isn't because I am nice.
It isn't because I am overly generous with my time.
It is because I will spend my life thanking my hometown for their kindness to me
and showing them that the love they showed me is returned in kind.
Growing up I couldn't wait to leave my small town.
Idle gossip is a curse to any teenager.
As an adult I am so proud of where I have come from.
It has made me a stronger person
A more loving person
A more tolerant person.
Ennistymon, please never change.
You truly are the best place in this world.

Comments

  1. I love you so much. You are a wonderful woman. Caring and kind and the best friend.

    I'm sorry for the loss in your community.

    ReplyDelete

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