A ‘thank you’ to the people of Andalusia

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, July 18, 2023

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To the editor:

When we came to Andalusia last year, we quickly realized that we stumbled upon a real hidden gem. We weren’t too sure if we’d be accepted or feel a real connection with this community so full of rich familial history, but you, the kind people of Andalusia, welcomed all of us with open arms, full of your loving embrace. Even though we haven’t lived here long, this beautiful community accepted us for who we are — accents and all. We opened up Southern Ground Coffeehouse (and Saints Cafe) and you support us. You give us advice on doctors and lawn services, and the best places to buy whatever we need. You really go out of your way when you don’t have to. You look out for us as we do for you. You all are the truest embodiment of what it means to be a neighbor of which we hope are emulating.

My mother died suddenly Saturday. I had no idea where to begin to find a funeral home or anything else I could need. And for about a second, I felt lost. I felt like I should send my mom back to New Jersey, but she didn’t want that. Our pastor Ben May and his lovely wife Jen came instantly to our home before she was even taken away. They prayed over her and we felt peace and comfort – truly connected. The EMS staff and Covington County Sheriff’s Office were kind and offered condolences. One shared that he lost his mom and I could see the ‘I-totally-know-what-you’re-going-through-look’ in his eyes. The next morning was my husband’s Baptism at Stanley Ave. Church of Christ and we all went as a family. My mom would go every Sunday with my husband Trip. She really liked going. The outpouring of love and kind words about my mom was unexpected, needed, and appreciated, all at the same time. It was precious and we will hold that feeling in our hearts forever.

I’ve received groceries and cards and flowers from people, whom may have never even met my mom. We’ve met total strangers and left as friends, feeling like we’ve known each other for years, even being invited to various local events, church services, dinners, etc. This is what is so precious about this place, which I’m proud to call Andalusia our home.

So when you see someone on the street, keep being your genuine and lovely selves, as you don’t get that anywhere else nowadays. Trust us, we know. Each and every one of you should be proud of how you were raised and how you instilled those values to your children. We’ve met different aged children and it’s always yes ma’am and sir and just sweet politeness. More towns in America need that right now! Pat each other on the back as a job well done because I can tell you there are no other people like Andalusians. Not anywhere.

To all of our new friends and neighbors, our community, my husband Trip and I want to truly ‘Thank You’ from the bottom of our hearts. We could not possibly get addresses for each and every one of you — most we don’t even know their name but you certainly were so kind and made us feel loved and supported. To those we haven’t met yet, we can’t wait to meet you! We will keep this fine town and its beautiful people, in our daily thoughts and prayers. Truly, thank you all for your love and hospitality. Thank you for making my mom’s last days on this Earth precious. Andalusia, you really are the Heart of the South! Be proud!

With love and immense respect,
Bernadette and Trip Taylor