In the last few weeks of his young life, my brother James taught me a most valuable lesson that I will never forget. Due the ravages of cancer and its treatment, James was no longer able to breathe without the trach tube in his throat or eat without the use of the feeding tube in his side. All five of us kids spent the last full week of his life together with James. Every few hours one of us would have to prepare his medication and nutrition to pour into the feeding tube.
After his death, as I reviewed that final few days of storytelling, laughter, tears and music, I realized something that James did every time one of us feed him or administered his medication. No matter who it was or what time of day (even the 2am visit), James would move his finger to cover that open tube in his throat to say: “thank you”. He always said the same two words – “thank you”. He didn’t say: “thanks” or ”uh-hah” or nod his head. Every time he would say: “thank you”. It occurred to me that he was trying to make a personal, one-on-one connection with his assistant. Thank you to the one who was doing for him what he could no longer do for his self. “Thank YOU”.
It is so very important for us, citizens of the world, to be aware of others in our lives who assist us in any way on our life’s journey. To simply say two words: “thank you”. It is these two words spoken in sincere gratitude that connect us, that make us a community.
November is the month of Thanksgiving. Vision 2020 would certainly be remiss if we did not take the time to express our sincere gratitude to all those folks in our community and beyond who have supported us with the donation of time, money and/or goods in 2019.
Thank you to our team of volunteers who help produce community events: the Easter Egg Hunt, Folk Medicine Festival, Ice Cream Social, Cathie and Troy Johnson 5K Walk/Run, Red Pump Café and Night-time Christmas Parade.
Thank you to all our community partners: First Baptist Church, RBS church of Christ, Armour’s Hotel, Donoho Hotel, Macon Bank and Trust, Citizens Bank, the City of Red Boiling Springs, RBS Police, Fire and EMS teams.
Thank you to all the local businesses who donated money or goods to make our events happen.
Thank you to Vision 2020’s Volunteers of the Year 2019: Tammy and Randall Bray.
Thank you, Board of Officers of Vision 2020: Crystal Justice, Chair; Dennis Emery, Vice Chair; Karen Davis, Secretary, Laura Merlo, Treasurer and Sue Sullivan for your guidance. Thank you to assistant Treasurer George McCrary and Executive Director Rita Watson for keeping us in line.
Thank you to those who donated to our Ice Cream Social Auction and to those who came to purchase those donations.
Thank you to those who have donated through the Brick-by-Brick appeal, or the Windows to our Heritage appeal or through your purchases at smile.amazon.com. Your financial gifts are keeping the dream of restoring the old bank building alive.
Thank you to those artists and crafts persons who have placed their work in the Step Back in Time shop for sale. Thank you to those teachers who have shared their knowledge in one of the classes offered at the Step Back in Time shop. Ya’ll make us and our town look good!
We look forward to working with you in 2020.