, Newburyport, MA

March 25, 2013

Community thanked for help in time of need

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

Often in this world we live in, we are much more aware of the bad that occurs in our communities and in our lives. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about the remarkable good that has happened in my family during one of the most difficult times of our lives.

My husband, Steve, was diagnosed in June 2012 with a malignant and fast-growing cancer. It had already metastisized by the time it was found and no cure was possible. Although Steve endured much physical pain and my son and I were heartbroken, the community around us was amazing. We received meals hot and delivered from neighbors and friends on a regular basis. People nearby helped us by mowing our lawn, plowing our driveway and walking our dog. My son, Matt, was cared for by other families and picked up and taken to and from activities when I could not make it. One friend came and cleaned my home while another organized a website that would tell people what we needed. And always there was someone to talk to or cry with who would understand and be there for us. Gift cards and supportive and loving emails came regularly and we were lifted up by the energy around us.

When my husband’s cancer progressed and he awoke one morning unable to walk, the Amesbury firefighters came and took him to the car so he could get to the hospital. They came every day thereafter to get him out of the house to go to radiation treatments and always were so caring and helpful. One firefighter, Todd, took Steve, who was now in a wheelchair, Christmas shopping on his day off! Our friends and neighbors, the Rogers, picked up Steve in a limo after his initial open-heart surgery and always were nearby when we needed them. They have been and continue to be remarkably generous to our family.

Sadly, my husband passed in February 2013. But my life has been changed forever by the love and compassion that have been shown over the past 10 months. Thank you again, Amesbury, for all your support. It means more than I can ever say.

Kathy Proctor