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Residents Reflect: A More Closely Knit Community

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Posted on: January 10, 2022

The Here & Now is ringing in the new year with reflections from residents. We would like to thank Robert Craig Baum, whose Wisdom 1096 project inspired this insert.

By Mary Anne Hakes

As a retired senior in the community, it was easier for me to be shut in with my immuno-compromised husband than it would have been for me to be working away from home (I used to work in a hospital), or juggling active children and their distance learning. Thank goodness for the internet’s many capabilities, which brought us food, medicines, opera, theater, concerts and Zoom meetings.

I volunteer on a number of boards and committees, and I’ve appreciated having that continued involvement and digital connections. I’ve had fun getting back into cooking — suddenly so much time to bake bread, make soups and try new recipes. I delivered some of my creations to neighbors’ front doors, where I could have a brief chat on the steps. In turn, my neighbors were very solicitous of me and my husband, offering to run errands, bring food or rake leaves. It was a kinder, gentler time, here in my community, since we understood that we were all in it together. We could decide what was important, reflect on thoughts, clean out closets, write in journals, do yoga and spend more time outdoors with nature.

My husband died in June, and I couldn’t have asked for a better blessing than to be able to spend every hour of every day with him, till the end. That’s a gift that I treasure, despite these uncertain times. It really taught me to live in the moment and to be grateful for what I have.

Mary Anne Hakesis, who is a retired nurse, is an active participant with the University Park Women’s Club and the Campus Club. She also serves as co-chair of the city’s Senior Advisory Committee and is currently working to make College Park a designated AARP Livable Community.

Read more reflections here:

Maxine Gross: The best and the worst of it

Arun Ivatury: A delicate balance

Theodore Francis Baum: Math and masks

Robert Craig Baum: Three Februarys



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