Written by McKim’s House Leader, Vic Woods
Whenever I show new visitors around McKim House, I have a little “spiel” that I always say; we laugh, have fun and celebrate together, we’re there for each other in times that are hard and painful, and we fight over whose turn it is in the bathroom just like any other family.
2020 has been an unforgettable year for our home; both in ways that are filled with that fun and celebration, and ways that were hard and sometimes painful. The world around us turned completely upside down within a weekend in March. There was confusion, panic, frustration, and we quickly had to figure things out and carry on. How do we continue to live out the mission of L’Arche, when it seems like the whole world has stopped? How do we take care of each other when none of us have lived through a global pandemic before?
Despite everything though, we were still McKim House. A group of core members and assistants who have chosen to live the beautiful, challenging life that is life in L’Arche. Something that’s integral in our home is that even in moments where things are difficult, we choose joy, and live and thrive in its vibrancy. Even if it meant that we had to adapt and be creative to find that joy!
These moments of creative joy, togetherness, and tradition continued as the months went on. Weekly Zoom hangouts to catch up with Creative Connections friends, an Easter scavenger hunt all around the Saint John area for an ice cream cake prize, concerts on our back deck where we serenaded our friends parked in the parking lot below, making big fancy Family Meal dinners (Thanksgiving in March, anyone?) that we could share with community members, welcoming new people to our Zoom Community Prayer, movie nights… Just to name only a few things we’ve done this year!
Our friendships have grown deeper in the last year, too. We were there for each other in moments that were painful. Not being able to see our families, due to restrictions, was something that both assistants and core members struggled with. Wishing for normalcy in routines; but as Debbie sometimes says, “What is normal?” We even welcomed our new friend, Sarah, into our home. A significant, but wonderful change to our home.
When I look back at 2020 here at McKim House, this is what I think; I’m so incredibly proud of the resilience and friendship of Debbie, Krista, Stephane, Patrick, and the newest addition to McKim House, Sarah. I’m grateful for the deep love and dedication of the assistant team; Sarah, Sebastian, Brandon, Catherine. Creative Connections has been a place of joy for our friends, whether Uptown or in our basement. I am filled with love and gratitude, even though this year had many difficult moments. We laughed and celebrated together, we were there for each other in times that were hard and painful, and at the end of it all, we are a family.