We were shown the love and hospitality that can only be found in a few special places

Although I have been away for 25 years, I am proud to have grown up in Havelock. As the son of a career Marine, I am blessed to have been raised in such a diverse community, a community that may have many different faces but over the years has proven to have a very good heart.

At the end of July, my father passed away and my sister and I returned to Havelock to assist my mother with his final preparations. Although these are always times of grief and sorrow, they are also opportunities for people – and places – to show their very best qualities. Regardless of where we went or who we saw, we were met with kindness and compassion. Not the kind of compassion that merely says, “I am sorry for your loss” but the kind that tangibly reaches out and makes a genuine difference.

When purchasing copies of the newspaper, one vendor asked why we were purchasing so many copies. My sister teared up and explained that our father’s obituary was inside. Their response was to come around from the counter, put their arm around her shoulders and say, “I am so sorry; can I pray with you?”

An insurance agent came back into town to fit us into her schedule the day we called, even though she was in a different county all day. She even went so far as to walk us through the life insurance procedure, even though the life insurance was through another company.

From the funeral home, to the church, to the doctor’s offices we stopped by to cancel appointments, we were never rushed, dismissed or given anything less than time and attention. It went beyond mere professionalism. We were shown the love and hospitality that can only be found in a few special places.

I will carry the grief of my father’s passing for some time to come, but I will also remember how my hometown made the entire process memorable for an entirely different reason.

Todd Williams, Frederick, Md.