By: Kathleen Walsh Mulcahy
The past month has presented a humbling scenario in our community. So much pain and suffering. For the others of us, we've had heart-stopping emotion from the suffering others are feeling. None of us can escape suffering. Suffering comes with joy, sorrow, happiness and horror. With all of that being said, we continue to stand united and witness the interconnectedness of our community through awareness and compassion of others.
Driving home last night from The Pancake House on 104th and Western my life was utterly changed. We all experienced that incredible ache when we heard about the loss of two of our Chicago Fire Fighters. And then came the gut wrenching news of the horrific fire that uprooted 60 some neighbors from their homes at 111th and Longwood.
Yes the common denominator is tragedy but the other common denominator is crystal clear - COMMUNITY. Our beautiful Mt. Greenwood / Beverly / Morgan Park Community filled with compassionate, gracious, kind people. Neighbors we know or don't know bring us courage and optimism to overcome a tragic blow. Hope, much needed hope, rebounds through the kindness of many others.
I heard the hearts and saw the souls of our Alderman Matt O'Shea and his staff last night. I heard the hearts and saw the souls of Julie Harrigan and her beautiful daughters, friends and staff at the Pancake House. And I heard the hearts and souls of many others: Tom Baffos from County Fair, Lynn Sapp from Rainbow Cone, the manager from Walgreens 103rd and Western, John Bisio from Walmart, Alice Collins from our Beverly Area Planning Association, Belinda Lusk and her humbling caregivers from St. Vincent De Paul (Christ the King Parish) and my friend and our neighborhood Banker Mike Geary from Standard Bank. All of these folks and so many more from our community GIVING BACK - PAYING IT FORWARD.
Please take a minute during Christmas to thank the many people who have supported the call to action for our fighterfighter families and our neighbors on 111th Street. Look inside your heart and soul this holiday season. Immerse yourself in community! Shop local, share compassion and joy, make a contribution to a worthy cause, give food to the Maple Morgan Park Pantry, join BAPA, pick up a membership for you and a friend at the Beverly Art Center.
We all need Jesus this Christmas. But what I witnessed last night is priceless:the people of our community 'bringing Jesus' to others.
Be the Merry in Christmas!