I recently had the opportunity to visit Hudson. My brother Duke Clark and his wife, Mary Jo, the parents of three boys, have lived there for about nine years. Our visit was not a pleasant one. My family drove seven hours from our home in suburban Philadelphia to Hudson to attend the funeral of Mary Jo's mother, Donna Rischitelli who died Nov. 9. Donna's death came a little more than seven months after my five brothers and I lost our mother and my dad lost his wife of almost 54 years.
Donna flew from Florida to attend my mother's viewing in suburban Philadelphia, and one of Donna's three sons flew from Cleveland and returned the same day to pay his respects. In addition, Mary Jo and Duke's Hudson friends sent an incredible amount of food to our home.
I could not believe the incredible generosity of these total strangers, until my family and I went to the Rockwellian-like town of Hudson for Donna's funeral. It was on that cold, rainy, November morning that we met our "Hudson Heroes." The thoughtfulness, kindness, warmth and compassion these people showed to my family and Mary Jo's family will never be forgotten.
It's at time likes these that friends are needed the most. And they were there, from early morning when a woman from down the street came knocking with coffee and donuts, to early evening when other friends showed up with food and beverages for an evening of tearful reminiscing and reflective laughter. I felt like I knew these people, who were no longer strangers, forever.
These "heroes" were there, also, during Donna's illness. Friends bought Mary Jo a round-trip plane ticket to visit her ailing mother in Florida, where Donna and her husband, Bob, were vacationing
To the people of Hudson I thank you from the bottom of my heart and wish you the merriest Christmas and a blessed New Year. I wish the same for my family and the Rischitelli family. Christmas for both families will never be the same.
But always remember the good times.
Margie Clark, Drexel Hill, PA