|My mom & daughter 2009|
I first learned the importance of community from my mom. She was always volunteering for some activity or another, helping out other people. She almost never said no when someone needed her help. She’s the reason I speak to anyone I pass by no matter how dirty, or down trodden they look, because if I didn’t when I was young, I got the “look”. My mom never acts out of spite or revenge. People love her and love to be around her.
It is because of my mom that I am now leaving my West Coast community and returning to the East Coast. For the past year, I have watched from afar as my mom has dealt with the trauma of cancer. Over the last few months, I came to the realization that I could no longer watch from 3000 miles away and I needed to be there to help her and to spend time with her.
The sadness of leaving, what has been our base for six years, is balanced by the many friends and colleagues who have reached out to us over the last few weeks. I am grateful for all of the communities, from school to work to neighborhood to church to Girl Scouts, who have taken us in, hung out with us, showed us the ins and outs San Francisco over the years. They have offered encouragement and assistance to us. My mom will be so happy to know that we had so many people to help us get through this time. We will be forever grateful to the friends and communities that surrounded us.
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