July 5, 2023


It’s that time when we take stock in the past year’s events and strive to make some hopeful changes for the coming year.  Twenty-twenty was one of those years that changed history, always to be remembered.  Memories of it will help us appreciate where we have come from as well as those who helped us get there.  A dear friend always told me, “When it’s dark, look for stars.”

Recently, I was reminiscing with my siblings about fond holiday memories and we began to talk about our departed family members, laughing heartily at the trouble we caused as kids and how important our traditions remain to this day as they are handed down to the next generation. The explanation of how and why our ancestors before us left everything and came to America is not lost on my younger family members.  Quite the opposite. They are hungry for more information, they want to look at more photos and hear more stories.  This, in itself, has become a New Year’s tradition in my family.  We have had to adjust due to the pandemic, but the sentiment of purpose is still vibrant.  The new year brings reverence for those who paved the way, appreciating the hardships that shaped the people they became.

In many ways, we do the same at Maplebrook.  As we continue to celebrate our 75th anniversary, it is a time of reflection and gratitude to those who were and are a part of this community.  Each of us brings our hopes, dreams, aspirations, and acknowledgement of the realities of the sacrifice made by those who came before us. For our young students, this is an unrivaled time to learn about courage and As we continue to endure the pandemic together, we appreciate the school that fosters the opportunities never allowed before, especially the relationships that have formed and will last a lifetime.  We have each other. We learn from each other.  We are strong for each other.

are at the dawn of a new year that brings with it lessons we learned from 2020:  the importance of helping our neighbors, being hopeful, gaining perspective and being grateful to those who have sacrificed for us.  My grandmother taught us kids this old Irish blessing for the new year.  It resonates with me because it acknowledges that we must experience unpleasantries in order to gain the knowledge to grow and be better; lessons I was fortunate to be taught my whole life.  It is a snapshot into the lives of everyone who has touched Maplebrook in some way.

May your new year be a happy one!

Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain, but by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes; 

Not by making your path easy, but by making you sturdy to travel any path; 

Not by taking hardships from you; but by taking fear from your heart;

Not by granting you unbroken sunshine, but by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;

Not by making your life always pleasant, but by showing you when people and their causes need you most and by making you anxious to be there to help.

Peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead.

As always, thank you for being part of the Maplebrook family.