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Dear hearts and gentle people

By Staff | Dec 27, 2019

One of the many blessings of living in Shepherdstown is how easy it is to keep hope alive, because of all the great people here. In the dedication to her inspiring novel, “The Truest Color” (will you ever forget Runt?), Betty Snyder refers to the “dear hearts and gentle people” in Shepherdstown.

Recently, my doctor of 15 years moved away and then his successor retired. I finally got to be a patient of Dave Didden’s. Just knowing Dave is a healing experience, and the healing begins chatting with his charming wife Katie beforehand. As my new doctor, Dave helped me with a calf injury (now resolved) even seeing me on short notice one day. He has me walking with weights 20 minutes several days a week, and this has given me energy I did not know I had.

Another grace filled health scene is PIVOT physical therapy. I spent eight weeks there getting more flexible and energized and getting rid of some minor aches and pains. Everyone there is very hospitable and treats you as if your appointment is with them. Jimmy, the therapist who worked with me, was always calm, centered, friendly and, of course, competent.

Both Dr. Didden and Jimmy are good examples of how the patient encounter can be healing on both the personal and physical level.

On another occasion last week, I stopped into Shepherdstown Liquor Store, where my visiting brother financed the restoration of our spirits supply. The young man at the counter inquired if we would like him to carry the box out to the car for us. I was so pleased when he did. Everyone there is always pleasant and knowledgeable.

Stopping in at O’Hurleys’ General Store is usually transforming. My brother and I met Jay O’Hurley in the Grand Room and enjoyed hot cider and the best ginger cookies we ever tasted. Jay laughed at my brother’s jokes, including “I stopped in at a general store once but they wouldn’t let me buy anything specific.” A man named “Fred” standing nearby joined in the conviviality, and the four of us had a nice little Christmas moment. Equally nice was the time we spent chatting with Gen at the front counter. Any contact with Gen is always uplifting.

Speaking of which, how about Kendra, owner of Four Seasons Books? While shopping there last week, I inquired if she could check how the sales were going for my book, “Wise Guyde: The First Forty-Five Columns.” She cheerfully checked. When she found that sales could probably use a boost, she suggested we do another event in 2020 and told me the nights and formats where they were having better success. Switching gears from business, she then extended an enthusiastic seasons greeting to Linda and me.

These are just a few of the dear hearts and gentle people who live and love in Shepherdstown and help us all to keep hope alive. Happy New Year!

Bill O’Brien is a consciousness coach and shamanic practitioner. He and his wife Linda have lived in Shepherdstown since 2005. He can be reached at billobrienconsciousnesscoach@gmail.com.