Okay in Cow Bay.

Actually, my dad is doing a lot better than okay.

The neighbours on either side of him seem to be in some kind of cooking war, seeing who can make the most delicious and nutritious food for him. One of them is a retired nurse. If I had to handpick people who would look out for my dad, they’d be it.

The other day when I was talking to him, some guy named Ernie looked in on him. I don’t know who Ernie is, but from my dad’s voice, he’s someone Dad respects and likes.

Dad is taking it easy. His exercise consists of walking around the parking lot. Then, when he feels a little better, he can walk down the hill and into town (about a city block’s distance) and then someone else can drive him back up.

In fact, this has been going on since before his surgery. When he walked into the fish store last month, the woman behind the counter ordered one of the other customers to go drive dad home and come back when he was done.

There’s a lot to be said for being known and liked in a community. Cowichan Bay is small, and my father seems to have integrated well there. I had my doubts at first, but he is really loving small-town life and the support it brings. Of course, a lot of that support comes because you can’t hide anything in a small town. People know your business and have no problem discussing it with all and sundry. That can be a big pain in the butt, but it also means there’s the support network for when you need it.

We city dwellers can hide our difficulties more. We give each other space to compensate for living so close together. We often don’t want to intrude, to either offer help or to show we need it. If we are lucky, we belong to communities of friends who form our security networks. If we’re really lucky, we can get over our self-imposed barriers of cordiality to offer help when we see it’s needed. And if we’re really, really lucky, we have the guts to ask for help of those in our self-made communities.

Today, I am going to focus on the tribe around me, the people who support me, whom I support.

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