Katharine Osborne column: 'Each day, however, brings with it reasons for joy'

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 12, 2006

By Katharine Osborne

For The Salisbury Post

In this Christmas Season, I am aglow with good feelings about life, my friends, and Salisbury.

A short hospitalization with pneumonia compelled me to put these thoughts on paper. Somehow it is often the unfortunate events that teach us lessons we need to assimilate or integrate.

I am always interested in words and phrases that inspire me to increased gratefulness. At Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church recently, our rector, Whayne Hougland, used an excerpt from St. Benedict’s Rule of Life.

A portion is, “Life will always provide matters of concern. Each day, however, brings with it reasons for joy.”

Here in the hospital, these words were so appropriate. I recognized I was fortunate to have a caring doctor who was looking after my welfare: I was there to get better. A room in the new addition of the hospital provided added comfort, but the caring attitude of all the nurses, the breathing therapists — just everyone — made it a time of great joy. To feel you are a person, not just a sick old body, is a heartwarming sensation.

Friends, what could I have done without friends? With no family in town and not wanting to have a car at the hospital, I asked a friend to take me and drop me off as she had to get back to work. Well, in the haste of trying to gather a few things together and leaving, I left without a house key. When it was time to come home, another friend who had my house key needed to pick me up. It was a new and powerful realization — I could not drive myself home nor get in my own house. Yes, what would I do without friends!

This is the situation of many people in our community; they have no key, no lock, no home. At Christmas, The Salisbury Post has the Christmas Happiness fund which helps many families at this Christmas season. But it is the year-round care of Rowan Helping Ministries, the Community Care Clinic and the Good Shepherd Clinic that raises the level of care-taking in Salisbury.

A new awareness increased my appreciation of Salisbury and the many people who work to help others.

Do we see this as a present that Salisbury gives to less fortunate individuals? The presence of these organizations is the present. Many contribute to these causes and it carries the Christmas spirit throughout the year.