Community Columns

Aquebogue News: Saying thanks to a wonderful community

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas!

I want to take this time to thank all of you for sharing your birthdays, your announcements and your lives with me in this News-Review community column. The people in Riverhead Town, especially in our little nook of Aquebogue/Jamesport/Northville, are just wonderful. It has been a blessing to get to know you online, through email, on the phone and in person as we bump into each other in this wonderful community we all call home.

This week, I’m not going to repeat the local worship celebrations, as they can be found online and in the calendar section of the paper. I will mention, however, that my next column will resume on Jan. 15, 2015. Please send me your news, and maybe some fun holiday stories, by Monday, Jan. 12.

I encourage you to find a place to celebrate the season with those you love and share your life with each day. In the midst of the busy celebrations, find a space to call your own and take a deep breath. The holidays will be over all too soon.

I also want to take a moment to thank the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth for opening their home to me today for my birthday retreat. The Sisters run Villa Immaculata House of Prayer on Sound Avenue in Riverhead. This little gem is a refuge for all who are seeking quiet and contemplation. I had a delightful evening and breakfast with them, as well as time to myself to celebrate the advent. Thank you, Sister Ronald and Sister Barbara, for your hospitality. If you’re looking for some time away to pray, call the retreat house at 727-5122.

I want to wish a warm holiday thank-you to those who have supported us over the years in our 18-year journey with my daughter Johanna. Many of you have followed our journey on Caring Bridge and on Facebook, as well as in announcements in this column. Your support and encouragement are greatly appreciated by me and my family, most especially by Johanna. After this long and eventful journey, I have finally written a book that chronicles our adventures — “Breathing Underwater: A Caregiver’s Journey of Hope.” I will be signing copies in early January at Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck. Message me for more information on how to get a copy.

Happy holidays and many wishes for a bright New Year!

R031209_Benthal_R.jpgContact Aquebogue columnist Eileen Benthal at [email protected] or 833-1897.