As you have gotten to know The Well Community, I hope you have learned how connected our members are to one another, to the staff, to our volunteers, donors and Board. We are so connected, in fact, that we could be the shining example of how to live out the Bible verse, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15)
In February we have had great fun preparing decorations for the Oak Cliff Mardi Gras Parade and enjoying Thursday Night Life fellowship. As we considered the theme of “love” for the month, members created, wrote and said aloud “personal valentines” for themselves. As they began to understand the value of positive affirmation, several were able to express: “I am dependable.” “I am kind.” “I am worthy.”
Yes, in February there has been plenty of rejoicing.
However, we have had our share of weeping this month, too.
Two good friends of The Well passed away in February. Carolyn Dunnigan was on our Board of Directors and had served for many years. A retired writer for the Dallas Morning News, she was a great promoter of The Well and an advocate for mental health issues. Every board should have a member like Carolyn. Her guidance, support and service was deeply valued and will be greatly missed. We rejoice with appreciation for her faithful leadership, and we weep with the Oak Cliff community, her family and friends.
I worked side by side with Heather Ann Hernandez at The Well for three years. She started out helping with administrative duties, but over time became more and more involved in overseeing our programs and having daily contact with our members. Every leader should have someone like Heather on their staff. She was much loved by our community. Well members will rejoice in their memories of Heather at a memorial service on Thursday, March 1 at 5:30pm in the Chapel of Cliff Temple Baptist Church. Please join us.
Losses like these are hard for all of us. But this month I have also been aware that our members not only grieve when people they care about die; they have a million other painful losses each day. Sometimes it is the loss of dignity when, through stigma, they are ostracized and ignored. For some it is the loss of family when siblings don’t include them in special occasions. Others have lost hope of ever holding a job, raising a family or having a home.
At the Well Community we share the pain of such losses and weep together. But, thank God, we also share the good things and rejoice together. This is one of the reasons our members say that The Well is a great place to belong.