Sometimes a space becomes a sanctuary - a place that feeds the soul as well as the spirit. Wildwood Metropark has been that sort of space for the Grill family.
Living nearby, Jim and Barbara walked in the park almost every day, and their children Jennifer and Eric joined them when they could. But Barbara especially loved the energy and solitude of the place.
“Walking at Wildwood always brought her strength and peace, whether she walked with other people or by herself,” explained her daughter Jennifer. “No matter the weather, Wildwood was her place to be energized and revitalized.”
She loved stopping to read the messages on the many light posts around the park, but also used the space to feed her patriotic spirit.
“Every time she passed the Oak Grove School, she would stop and recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the flag,” Jennifer said. “If we were walking with her, we’d say the pledge too. Then she would add, ‘God bless all those who have served.’ She loved the park and she loved her country too. She planted that seed in our family, and we all feel the same.”
So, how better to honor her spirit than to be sure that the flags are always flying over Wildwood.
The family has committed to replacing the flags at the schoolhouse and the Manor House twice a year, in perpetuity - forever! In addition, the family has funded installation of a light for the flag at the Manor House, to keep it flying day and night.
This donation is representative of the entire Grill family, and how important the park and their country are to them all.
“There’s just something about Wildwood that is very special, unlike any other place,” said Jennifer. “And when you see the lighted flag at the Manor House, you’ll know that Mom’s light continues to shine on us all.”