Chamber Made Column
August 12, 2017
There Have Been Many Smiles In A Year Of Trial
If it were not for the sadness of losing my husband at the end of winter, I could honestly say this summer has been one of the best I have had in decades. That might surprise some of you, but I have packed more in these past few months than I have in years, not only smelling the roses, quite literally, but embracing life in a way I could not have imagined months ago.
It has been through the grace and kindness of family and friends that I have come so far, that I not only smile but laugh each day. I have come to really enjoy the antics of children, tear up when I see the devotion between older couples and gasp in wonder when I see an extraordinarily beautiful sunset or sunrise. And, yes, I saw a sunrise recently, over the waters of Lake Champlain. It was a sight to behold and I consider myself fortunate to have captured it on my camera.
I truly have ventured out of my comfort zone this summer. I have attended two concerts at Dog Mountain and plan to return. I have dipped my toes in the waters of Lake Superior, seen massive freighters inch into the harbor in Duluth and bounded up the stairs of a high observation tower and the Split Rock Lighthouse outside Two Harbors, Minnesota. I munched on some of the best pie in the nation at Betty’s Pie with nary no regard for my diminishing waistline and accepted the embrace of my dear sister-in-law when I collapsed into tears after a particularly rough day.
When my sister arrived from Santa Barbara a few weeks ago, we talked long into the night almost every evening, bowing our heads in prayer more than once, as we worried about our baby sister and relatives in the hospital. We nodded our heads in understanding when someone mentioned a loss dear to them, as we now know what it feels like to lose someone so precious. But there was joy as well. When my sister, daughter and I sat on the porch of the cute, little cabin we rented in North Hero last week, we just giggled with delight, so pleased we could be together, in such a beautiful place, at this time in our lives. Life was and is good.
I also attended my high school reunion without an ounce of dread and laughed more that that weekend than I have in years. I so enjoyed my classmates’ company and we promised not to wait another decade to reunite. It has been a summer of many smiles and even more blessings.
I could not have endured these last months had it not been for the kindness of heart and generosity of spirit that I have experienced from the people of the Northeast Kingdom. I have had complete strangers walk into the doors of the chamber and express their sympathy and give me hugs. You cannot know how much that has meant to me as I now walk a path I never thought I would have to take.
This is a space where I often speak about what makes the Kingdom and the business community special but today it is a spot where I express thanks. There are not words to express how much your actions were and are appreciated, as you strengthen my heart and spirit by the day.
(Darcie McCann is the executive director of the Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce.)