A Letter to the Citizens of MBV
Dear Residents, Civic Groups and Organizations,
On May 7th? 2014 the Mastic Beach Village Mayor and Board of Trustees made a resolution to create citizen committees. The board felt that to advance the original goals of the village we have to represent and include “We the People” in the governing of our municipality. To that end we are asking that all those who reside in Mastic Beach and who would like to help to make our village run more effectively and efficiently please sign up to join one or more of the following committees:
Quality of Life Committee
Health and Human Services Committee
Waterfront Use and Development Committee
Alternative Energy/Green Committee
Please contact Trustee Maura Spery at 631-281- or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org you are interested in joining any of these committees. We look forward to working with everyone to make our community the best it can be.
Friendship & Forgiveness
I will never forget the first time I met Carol Bissonette.
I was new to community activism and had just started as the co-chair of the Mastic Beach Property Owners Quality of Life Committee. I had never been involved with any civic activities and was new to dealing with elected officials. Carol was our Town Councilwoman and pulled no punches. She was blunt, to the point and passionate about helping the residents of Mastic Beach. I liked her right away.
At one point she turned to me and said, “...but Maura they have to be ‘vetted’ first.” I immediately said, “you are right” and waited until I got home to look up what ‘vetted’ meant as I didn’t want her to think that I was stupid. Well that was only the beginning of a multitude of things, big and small, that I learned from Carol Bissonette.
I want to speak of the most important lesson that I learned from her. She taught me forgiveness. At some point Carol and I had a falling out over the village incorporation. I was upset, hurt and angry. I didn’t speak to her for a couple of years. Something changed in me when my friend and mentor Bob DeBona died. I could not live with that coldness in my heart anymore. I had to reach back to my Catholic upbringing and pray to forgive her. And lo and behold as I have found over and over again that when you give it up to God something amazing always happens.
We didn’t have some magic warm and fuzzy moment, but over time we began to speak again. As Bruce and I started to make our run for office Carol was an exceptional friend and ally. Her tutelage and advice was invaluable.
Earlier this year we found out that she had been diagnosed with cancer. Not surprisingly, this did not slow her down one bit. She pushed on with her life through grueling chemo and radiation treatments without missing a beat. Her strength and courage was astounding. Her loyalty and devotion to our campaign and many others was inspiring. Needless to say our campaign was a success and Carol was a big part of that victory.
Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for her battle with cancer. She ignored the pain as long as she possibly could but in the end she could no longer bend cancer to her will and her body began to lose the war that her mind was trying so hard to win.
The last few weeks were a strange blessing. I witnessed her ability go through the last stages of her life with unbelievable grace and dignity. Some people become nasty and mean as they get to the end of their life but not Carol. Her sweetness, kindness and good nature increased exponentially. As the cancer took over her body, underneath that hard exterior came out the real Carol I knew, a big soft hearted marshmallow.
Her soul sister (literally) and Health Care Proxy Maureen Getchell and I went and brought her home fromthe hospital on Thursday June 19th one year to the day that her dad passed away. With her husband Michael and her dog Spunky waiting at the house. We set her up in her own home and surrounded her with the love of her friends and family.
Bruce, Maureen and I sat with her late into the night that Thursday and softly recounted stories and adventures that we had all shared. We prayed the rosary and let her know how much she was loved. Her last words to us were, "I love you, too."
The next morning Maureen and I sat with her and comforted her. We let her know it was okay to go and that she was safe and loved and she would be going to a better place without pain; filled with peace and light and love. She shed one tear and passed at 10:12am on Friday, June 20th with us reciting Hail Mary’s and with Michael holding her hand, she took one final breath.
She was at peace.
She taught me one last lesson. The gift of life is just that—a gift—and we should be grateful for everyday that we have here on this beautiful planet. Take the time to smell the roses, listen to the ocean, watch a sunset and most importantly, let the ones you love know just how much you love them.
Carol you will be missed but I will carry your spirit, love and lessons in my heart.
Good by my friend. Your love and light lives on forever.