by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 4/2001

Easter is here again. Christians throughout the world celebrate the miracle of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the promise of life after death. It’s a time of joy.

And despite the ever-changing weather and the threat of still more snow, spring is finally here as well. The trees are starting to bud, the sun is warmer and the afternoons are longer. All around us is the promise of summer, better days and (hopefully) no more snow.

Both Easter and spring are a time of renewal, and rebirth after the long hard winter.

And it has been a very hard winter, and not just because of the weather. Nearly four months later, the tragic death of Lorraine and Stanley Garland is still felt profoundly throughout our community.

Lorraine, the driving force behind the creation of the senior center, town benefactor and friend and advocate for Foxboro’s seniors; Stanley, her right hand man, always lending help wherever and whenever needed. Two of the best people any of us will ever meet, two of the greatest benefactors Foxboro will ever know, gone in a heartbeat in a senseless accident right before Christmas.

For many of us, talking about Lorraine and Stanley still brings tears. The grief is still with us; we still can’t accept the loss. Our prayers continue to go to the Garland and Ashe families.

It’s never easy. But even after a loss as tragic as this one, life goes on. Joanne Pratt did a very commendable and marvelous job, assuming the Herculean responsibilities of interim Council on Aging / Human Service director. Cathy Hickey and her many volunteers coordinated the huge task of ensuring that the delivery of the Christmas food baskets and toys went on as scheduled. The discretionary fund is still in operation, the food pantry is still running, and the senior center, although its brightest flame is gone, still flourishes and will continue to do so. The many community organizations in Foxboro continue to make life better for all of us.

And this week, after a long search and review process, Vicki Withers has been named as the new director of Council on Aging / Human Services. Her credentials are impressive; she certainly seems qualified for the position and we know she will do a great job. She will bring her own style and love for the job, and we should embrace it.

This is a season for new beginnings and renewal. Life after death. New beginnings.

Somewhere, someplace, Lorraine and Stanley are at peace, looking down at us, smiling with love, knowing that the good work they did for so long and the dreams they helped start, will continue and thrive.

At this Easter and Spring time, a time for celebrating the triumph of life over death and embracing the renewal of life around us, it’s important to remember that the good Lorraine and Stanley did lives on long after their death, and the spirit of love they created will be with us always.

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