Both Rob and I have written stories over the years – and as recently as last week – that took note of the supportive folks who make up our community but as Rob continues to recover from a severe heart attack on May 17 that required an emergency helicopter trip to the medical center in Winchester, Va., and the placement of two stents, we have been overwhelmed by the kindness shown us.
We’re grateful for meals, errand-running, transportation, babysitting and other help and support provided by friends and family. Journalism colleagues have pitched in, with help taking photos, writing stories and columns, and otherwise helping us make deadline. We’ve even had offers to help us with delivery and other decidedly unglamorous Spirit tasks.
As news of Rob’s heart attack spread, the flood of emails, well-wishes on Facebook, cards and flowers meant so much. So many people wrote to say how much they appreciate his hard work at the newspaper – and to please put his health first so that he can continue to contribute here.
As journalists, both Rob and I feel grateful to know that what we’re doing at the paper matters to so many. There’s so much despair associated with the newspaper industry these days so it feels great to know that our efforts to provide information about everything from the local school board races to the debate over the Hilltop House development to what’s happening at the Charles Town Farmers Market and other opportunities to shop local are noticed and valued.
The warmth extended to us is particularly notable because we haven’t been in Jefferson County a long time. Though Rob has lived in the Panhandle since 2004 and I grew up in Berkeley County, it wasn’t until early 2012 that we moved to Ranson. Though we haven’t had the chance to put down long roots, this outpouring reinforces our certainty that we couldn’t have found a better community to call home.
For the next few weeks, Rob will focus far less on work and far more on his health (eating the healthiest possible diet, completing cardic rehab at Berkeley Medical Center, finding the right strategy for dealing with the stress in his life). Once he’s back fulltime, he’s thinking he’ll write more stories, draw more editorial cartoons (and maybe even an original weekly comic strip) and put more energy into longer-range ways to increase this newspaper’s presence in the community.
We hope you’ll continue to pick up the Spirit each week, even take the step of becoming a subscriber if you’ve been meaning to. So often we hear from people who like the work we do but haven’t found the time to go online and subscribe or to call or come by our office to sign up. Know that we celebrate every subscriber; when you make a commitment to get our paper for the next 52 weeks, that’s a trust we take seriously. We also appreciate your feedback, including your thoughts on this issue and our past work as well as your story ideas for editions down the road. Now more than ever, we feel our work here is a partnership with the community. We know we’re not in this alone.
– Christine Snyder