by Nicole Tobias
As the end of summer draws near, I am reminded of the pleasant memories that my family has made during the summer of 2019. The experiences of connecting with others in our small-town community are my fondest.
My most memorable moment was the beginning of our summer with the annual Sam’s 4th Fishing Derby, followed by an in-kind BBQ, hosted and organized by Sue Hoaken Bergeron, also know as “Library Sue,” from the North Grenville Public Library in Kemptville.
Year after year, Library Sue actively and selflessly runs this event to honour our late son, grandson, brother, nephew, cousin, and childhood friend who died from a terrible disease called Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). A horrible disease that robbed our child of his life at eight years old.
Sue always remembers Sam and never forgets to mention his name and reminisce with fond memories of him at the library. Sam always loved going to the library and picking out books, as well as attending Sarah’s circle with Library Sue. We read everyday; even when he lost his eyesight, he would put his hands on my neck to feel the vibration of the words I would read.
Not only does she continue to support our grieving hearts, but she also touches the hearts of so many families and caregivers by running the children’s library programs that are always packed and full of ambitious children and their families, eager to learn and participate in songs and stories at Sarah’s circle.
She provides a lot more than songs and stories. She provides a delicate balance; as a nurturing soul for families experiencing many different life challenges, and as a professional librarian. She sees the realness of what families face day to day. She has become a reprieve for families to attend library group that normalizes parenting, and she makes you feel that you are providing a wonderful educational and social experience for your children. It is very reassuring that you are doing something right as a parent.
Library Sue has become somewhat of a hero in our community. I am so glad that I decided to bring my children to Sarah’s circle 11 years ago at the old North Grenville Library. It has connected us to the heart of this town, which is library Sue herself.
I am humbled that she always remembers Sam and his love for fishing, and the many other lives of families she touches everyday. Thank you, Library Sue. After this year’s “Sam’s Fishing Derby”, we decided to donate all in kind funds raised to be donated back to the library to purchase more books for children in memory of Sam. The new books will be released and available to borrow in the spring of 2020.