Faith on the Road with Sherry

Jun 15, 2013 No Comments by

The amazing thing about being part of Visit Londonderry is that I never know exactly where a week will lead. Even though I have lived here since the 60?s, grew up at Kendalwood Condos, taught at the High School, and raised my family here, each day I learn something special about our community. One thing is for sure, Londonderry is the best place to Live, Work and Play! Each week I will share with you some of the amazing businesses and things I have learned about Londonderry.

I have to start this week by telling you these things a whole week early. I guess I didn’t have ‘faith’ in myself, that I would ever tell you about these important places if I tried to next Friday. So many changes will happen in so many of our lives this week and for me many of them will test my “Faith” and already are. By the time you read this there will have been graduations at many schools all over our area. High School ones and 8th grades too. I know these are happy, beautiful times, and we are all so blessed to be a part of them, but it’s all scary too. So many unknowns. so many things we really can’t control, no matter how much we try or want too. That’s were faith comes in. That’s what Father Moe would tell me, “Faith”, remember it is Father Moe who gave our family the “Wait Three Days” gift of waiting before we just react or usually over react to any situation that upsets us. This week I’m going to pray for strength to not be so fearful of all the changes in our lives and I’m going to pray for all the graduates and their families, but especially ours.

I debated telling you about this, but In case there is even one person worrying the way I am about our children moving up and out and not being with us every day here’s what happen to me. and I do believe “faith” stepped in. Now I have been going to a little one person salon in Derry for years. It’s called Scissor Happy. We met through our families years ago and not only Shayne a gifted stylist, who charges very little for everything she does, she tolerates my last minute urgent calls and somehow cuts my ridiculously fine hair so it looks nice. I also love that while I’m there, we talk about life and a lot about ‘faith’. Now don’t get all weird about this, we are not the same religion, but we both believe strongly that we all need God in our lives, now some of you may get annoyed that I said that but we do! Shayne is a shining, sincere star who is grateful and faithful for what she has in her life. She doesn’t brag or pretend things are perfect, but she has a gift of looking around picking out the good in people and life and forgiving the flaws that we all have.

With all the expenses coming up in the next couple weeks preparing for all these events and celebrations I had been putting off getting my hair cut and colored until the very last minute. Mackensie is always my go to person for the reality of my hair situation and she said “mommy you have to go!” I knew she was right, those darn wiry greys were taking over the top of my scalp. To funny, I shouldn’t tell you this but I will, dear Mackensie saw an infomercial for this spray hair color a year or so ago and she found me a tin of it!!! Dear God, why am I telling you this. Well in between hair colors, if I very carefully spray this canned hair color on hair it does hide the greys for that day. Yes it’s cheap too! Problem, and if you have dark hair you’ll know what I mean, the greys I want to hide are all around my face! You try spraying this bottle of black around your face! Yes it does cover the greys but then I have to try and scrub off this dark ring that is on the edges of my face! Not pretty and hard to remove, but again it works. When I see someone looking at my hair line I always wonder if I didn’t quite remove all the spray dye! I bet you might notice it now too! Anyway, after a few sprays and messy dyed face cloths from trying to remove it, I call Shayne and beg to get in last minute. Somehow I have “faith” she’ll make a spot for me and she does.

Our visit this week started off of course with me whining that Meredith is going to a school 4 hours away. Shayne listened and agreed. We both have girls and we sort of run our houses the same way. She could feel my turmoil. Then she said. Maybe you were meant to come in today for a reason. She said a lovely mom would be coming in shortly with her son. one of the nicest, most honorable, considerate, personable young men she has met. Shayne said this mom wishes she could give her son the gift of heading off to college, taking on new adventures and living his life. I thought that was odd for Shayne to say, but knew God had put me here on this day for a reason.

Within minutes as my greys were processing, in comes this lovely mom and her son. The mom was beautiful and peaceful as she” helped” her son walk into Shayn’e for his hair cut. Her son had been born like most of our children, healthy, taking baby steps and then learning to run. At some point in his life, health problems started to arise and this mom heard the terrifying news that her son had a horrible nerve degenerating disease. Their life changed forever. They went from the freedom of watching your child change in happy ways to the fear of knowing that your beautiful child will not be able to do all those things that every child should be able to too. The things that every mom should be able to experience. This young man and his mom, were just so grateful for the time they were sharing together. Most of us pride ourselves in being good parents at least we try, I promise you we have nothing on this Mom. The love and patience that she gives every second of everyday knowing that her son is in pain, and struggling yet never complaining goes far beyond what most of us experience.

I knew what Shayne meant, this mom wishes she could be like so many of us worrying about her son heading off with his friends to take on new life adventures, feeling good, thinking about the what’s ifs of the future. I was honored to meet them both, and I knew that I was put there that day to understand the gift of the life changes ahead and to embrace them and not fear them. “Faith” I guess, this mom exhibited more faith then I ever had, I doubt she has time to go into a church as I do, but her faith is strong. In all of his pain, he never complained once, but took time to ask how we are, and listened with such an open heart to all the great things going on for everyone else. Faith and a grateful heart.

Thinking of Faith, most of you know we are a catholic family, but I have always loved visiting all other faiths. This week I stopped into our Episcopal church right here on Mammoth Road. I have driven by and marveled at it’s lovely window probably every day for years. As I drove pass again I turned around at Mack’s Apples and decided to walk in. You know how I feel about these pop in visits I do, if someone is there and able to talk then I know that’s where I should be. There were a lot of cars in the parking lot so I thought maybe this “turn around and complete change of plans” would be a waste, but it wasn’t. I picked a door and walked in. Coming around the corner as I entered was a familiar face. It was one of those I know you moments for each of us and it turned out we had been girl scout leaders at the same time years ago. This mom was amazing because she would always take on the huge task of being the Cookie mom for the area too! Now that I can promise you is a labor of love! She would check to see if the Pastor was in. She was.

Their priest, Sarah, was completely lovely and welcoming too! She invited me into her office and we sat and talked, “shared” is really more what it felt like. We both talked and we both Listened. We talked about how this beautiful church came to be how beautifully welcoming they are and how they really want to let our community know that you can stop by. I promise you the church is one of the most beautiful ones I have seen. They also have a lovely peaceful area for prayer and reflection if you need a place to just be. I’ve typed this before but if you are searching for spiritual home this might be the place. Sarah and I also talked about Charity work and how much can be accomplished even when just a few people act and get involved.

Charity. Helping others and faith too. Sad events, all events I guess do have a way of leading us to something else. Faith again. You all remember the sadness of the lose of our dear friend, neighbor, husband and dad Mark Baldwin just a few months ago. Out of all that sadness and heartbreak much love did come. That’s exactly how Mark would have seen it too! A dear classmate from High School, we knew her as Jo-Ann Kingsbury but she is now Jo-Ann DelMastro, heard the tragic news about Mark and reached out to his wife Cindy, to many of us really. We had not been in touch for years. This is what she did and does.

Jo-Ann called Cindy and offered comfort, friendship, and “faith” that she would help in any way that she could and that with time there would be healing. She also went on to offer to take Cindy to lunch, precious after all these years. She took a great Chance! Not knowing how this would be received, but she did. Out of Jo-Ann taking a chance and really listening to Cindy, she knew exactly what she could do to help. How beautifully strange is this, Cindy described to Jo-Ann that one of the hardest parts still remained, having to go through Mark’s clothing, and then how do you part with them. each piece having a memory.

As “faith” would have it Jo-Ann told Cindy she knew right then what she wanted to do.this might make you teary too. Jo-Ann has a gift for Quilting. A while ago she started a small business called G-Ma’s Quilts. She asked Cindy if she could take all of Mark’s special T-shirts and other clothing items and she would be honored to make a quilt out of them for Cindy and her daughters. Jo-Ann often does this for students heading off to college and at other times, but how beautiful was this offer. She took something so difficult to do and turned it into something that would give continued warmth and love. I’ve been holding onto a Pendleton Woolen Shirt of my dad’s and a Bath Robe of my mom’s for years now. I just can’t part with them. I know who I will be calling. In case you need the number it is G-Ma’s Quilts 603-661-0479.

I guess I will end this on the Road with A Happy Father’s Day Wish to all the Dads. As I typed about Cindy I realized that as much as this will be a Happy Father’s Day for many of us, in many houses it will be sad. When I talked to Cindy and she shared with me how happy the Shirt Quilt made all of them she also shared how much the Londonderry Trailway project to extend the Rail Trail through Londonderry has helped her family’s heart. She described to me how she plans to walk part of the trail on Father’s Day because she knows it meant so much to Mark. I was just thinking, if you are like me and have no idea what to give all the great Dad’s out there, instead of buying something else for him just to open, what if we all tried to make a donation to the Londonderry Trail Ways to honor all the great Dad’s that aren’t with us. If you can do this and it would help your heart too, Make the check out to Londonderry Trailways and just make a note that it is to be used for the 1 mile we are trying to finish that will be named for a Great Dad Mark Baldwin. Maybe make a note of it in your Father’s Day Cards, I know your special dad will be touched and honored to know that they made a difference.

One last thing,,, this week the girls and I traveled down to Boston and for the first time went to the area where the Boston Marathon bombings happened. Meredith, Mackensie and I walked and prayed for the 4 people that died and all the runners, moms and dads that lives changed forever that day. It was one of the most beautiful memorials we have ever seen. Thousands of sneakers hanging and Thousands of notes and pictures to support Boston Strong. I didn’t even think about it when I started this on the Road but if you can make a Father’s Day donation to our Londonderry Trailways you will also be helping to build a beautiful, safe haven for runners and walkers for years to come. Please donate if you can, and I’d be so grateful if you just make a note that says 1-mile Mark Baldwin on your check. This Father’s Day we can honor the Wonderful Dads that we have lost and Boston Strong too.

With A Grateful Heart Sherry <3

On the Road with Sherry

About the author

Sherry has lived in Londonderry since the 1960's. Her mother was one of the first employees at Mr. Steer Meats. Sherry taught at the Londonderry High School for a number of years and spearheaded the first Career Education Class at the school. She has two daughters of her own with her husband John.
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