Barb Pederson’s Story: Ordinary People Making a Positive Difference

is is one of many stories from a wide variety of sources and a multitude of forms contributed by people upon request for my 70th birthday.   They will be posted without editing, with the attribution that was with them.  I will be posting these regularly until they run out next year sometime: if you have others to add, please send them to me.

The power and love and friendship of community shone brightly for my daughter’s wedding in September 2018

My daughter and her partner have been together for nine years. With six weeks’ notice, they decided to hold their wedding in our backyard in September 2018. We were thrilled beyond words and as a family, jumped into action. My husband designed light displays in the back yard, I ensured the flowers were blooming the best they could, and our son and daughter-in-law (and little 7 month old grandson) flew in from Montreal and organized and prepared all the food for the wedding barbecue. Family was beyond amazing!

And so were the neighbours and friends on our block. They sprang into action and giving mode. We had offers of food, we had refrigerator and freezer storage, we could have done 100 chairs loaned and 20 tables. Neighbours dropped by and texted constantly to see what they could do. One friend made 4 pies. On the day of the wedding, I must have had texts from 15 neighbours, congratulating us and celebrating that the day was sunny and warm. Neighbours moved their cars to make room for our guests. 

We try continually to be wonderful neighbour-friends and the goodwill we have invested over the years, came back to us tenfold for the wedding. I always talk about neighbours, neighbour-friends, and friends. Neighbour is a very special term and to me, means a good person who lives close by. Neighbour-friends are those neighbours who go beyond being neighbourly and become friends.  

About jofacilitator

On Sept 1, 2020, I celebrated 50 years of work with the Institute of Cultural Affairs, facilitating meetings, groups, communities, and organizations, making it possible for ordinary people to have a voice in decisions that affect their lives. I retired on December 31, 2021, but still volunteer with the organization.
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