My blog is not being written in an attempt to convince anyone for whom to vote. At this point in Palmetto Bay’s election cycle, everyone who reads my blogs should understand why I’m seeking a political change for our Village. Trying to persuade anyone’s political opinion three days prior to the Village’s runoff is probably an exercise in futility.
This week, I had the extreme misfortune in losing a family friend and attending his funeral service. His family, although one of the strongest and tight knit families I have ever known, were overcome with grief at his unexpected passing. Their emotional state was not surprising due to the fact he died suddenly in a motorcycle accident. He was a good friend who passed away years too soon.
I tell you his story not to bring sadness but to honor my friend, his family and the church that held his funeral service.
I have to admit that I am not a particularly religious person, even though I strongly believe in my heritage. At the same time, I experienced something during the funeral service that was extremely emotionally overwhelming. It was nothing less than an overpowering outpouring of love and compassion for my friend and his family. It was as if the whole community came together suddenly to grieve, laugh and heal within a two-hour period. It was a bevy of emotions that just had to be experienced to be understood.
This is not the first time I have ever experienced this array of emotions and interestingly enough it has always occurred at a religious institution. It has either been the celebration of a birth, a wedding or unfortunately a celebration of life at a funeral.
During the past couple of years, I’ve heard many Palmetto Bay residents complain and comment repeatedly about the churches in our community. Complaints regarding traffic, comments that they don’t contribute real estate taxes, or comments that Palmetto Bay should be the Village of homes not churches or schools.
Religious institutions make a community. For those who take advantage they can lift you up and are a gathering place to find hope and healing in the darkest of times. They are a place where the masses can gather to both celebrate and grieve. They are the definition of community.
I know for my friend’s family if it weren’t for the love of his friends, their friends and church it would have made a difficult time much more grim. I firmly believe they felt the love that was in the air from those who attended the service and will continue to feel that love during their healing process.
When you vote on November 25th, please remember we are a community. We are a community that should be there when one of our residents is in trouble or in need. That can’t happen when residents believe we are strictly a community of houses. We need a drastic change. We need to be a community of houses, churches, schools, little league events, parks and tolerance. That’s what makes a community and that’s what Palmetto Bay needs to become.
Please don’t forget to vote on November 25th.