Friday, March 02, 2012

A Co-op is Like a Village

Sorry for the delay. Crunched my foot two weeks ago and have been feeling sorry for myself ever since. Well, not really. I took a step the wrong way and came down on my ankle hard enough to cause severe bruising to bones, tendons, muscles from baby toe up to and including the ankle. Pulled a calf muscle on the other leg so have been doing a sort of double hobble dance - much to the amusement of folks in the neighbourhood. I'm glad there are no broken bones. I am not glad to be missing work for the doctor's prescribed three weeks. I love my hockey games! And I have missed taking Bruno for his walks and feel very doggy-deprived. Oh, well.

So here's the thing about living in a co-op. Your neighbours know almost everything about you. This is not always a bad thing. When trouble happens your neighbours are always there to offer help, comfort and an encouraging word. Someone left a huge bag of citrus fruits on my doorknob. No note. Someone went to the corner store for me. Someone else drove me to Costco for my semi-annual Big Shopping Day. The co-op has a few dollies for our use so said friend and neighbour loaded up the dolly and pushed the cartload of groceries right to my front door. Then took the dolly back to the storage room.

 The co-op is likened to a small village and so it is. In the past few years we have lost a few co-op residents to old age or to illness. The death of a loved one is always a horrible experience and there is no way just a few words can truly provide all the comfort the survivors need. But there are little things neighbours can do to ease the burden. Some of the neighbours formed a group to provide cooked meals for grieving parents for several weeks. Respecting privacy, others have slipped condolence cards through the mail slot or quietly watered plants and swept outside the doorways. At general meetings those who passed are acknowledged and a few moments of quiet reflection take place before the meeting commences. Collections may be taken for flowers, food or other smalls needs. Laundry is found folded and ready to take home from the laundry room. Little things done quietly and with dignity.

We end up stronger as a community, kinder to one another and more mindful and respectful. 

Folks here don't tend to move out very often.
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