With COVID restrictions in place over the past 15 months, our connections with many people have been put on pause. Personally, many of us tried to keep in touch with family and friends through other methods, with some success. Some still managed to hold their Book Club meetings, attend their church services, participate in on-line courses, or use Zoom or FaceTime to meet a new family member.
However, other losses occurred, some of which we may not even know about until the pandemic is over. During the restrictions many of Oak Table’s volunteers stepped back because of their vulnerabilities, or the vulnerability of someone in their care. During that time, things continued to happen in their lives. Some lost a spouse, nephew, brother, sister, niece, grandchild, or a child. Some lost a parent or grandparent. Some received a difficult, life-changing diagnosis. Others had an illness progress in severity. Some became more dependent due to cognitive or physical decline, and some, unfortunately, died. Life and death didn’t get put on hold during the pandemic. While complying with provincial health regulations, each of us knows someone who experienced significant life changes, grief, and loss.
As an organization, we managed. Volunteers that remained or started during the pandemic did a terrific job of serving our guests, and we are so thankful for their presence. Naturally, we would love it if everyone who stepped away could come back to Oak Table once the pandemic is under control. However, we know that this is not a possibility.
We want to give pause and honour those volunteers who cannot come back. We want you and your loved ones to know how much your contribution mattered in the lives of the underserved and underloved in our community. Your absence leaves a hole in our heart.