New Brunswickers share good news from 2020

·3 min read

The year 2020, dubbed by many as a dumpster fire of a year, wasn’t all bad.

And for some New Brunswickers, 2020 opened new doors and ushered in some very good things indeed.

Here’s what made these New Brunswickers most proud, grateful and fulfilled this year:

The Brunekreefs, in Riverview, had been trying for a baby for the better part of a decade. “The first years it wasn’t a big deal, but the last six years it was tough,” said Wilco Brunekreef.

At the end of October, they welcomed a baby girl, Esther Jane Brunekreef. Mom, Bethany, and dad, Wilco said, “2020 was a great year for us!”

For others, family matters to be proud of came in another form. Jennifer L. Jones, of Hillsborough, said, “our family's story of healing and restoration is my number one event of 2020.”

“We are a family that looks different, a divorced mom and dad of two kids, a step-mom with her two kids and a lot of love,” she said.

“We chose to be each other’s bubble family and the bubbleship began. We have accomplished so much this past year in co-parenting...it’s been so amazing. We left hurt and pain in the past and loved our kids first,” she said.

April Arsenault, of Riverview said “I stayed single despite being lonely. I know what I want and I'm not settling.”

She said she is happy she could stay true to herself.

Others grew through health victories.

Vanessa Jones of Lower Coverdale said, “I'm proud to have made it through chemo and radiation during a pandemic without completely cracking up.”

Most days she was alone for appointments and surgery without a loved one by her side, but it taught her how strong she is, she said, adding that she has been reminded in 2020 of how many things in this life there are worth living for if we take a moment to think about them.

Meanwhile, Dan McLaughlin, of Riverview, said, “2020 was my first full year with my new kidney and I’ve felt better.”

Others were doing things with their hands in 2020, some accomplishing things they had never attempted before.

Edward Mckinley, of Beaverbrook, said, “I'm proud of my first little cabin I built all alone in 2020.”

Keith Clement, of Riverview, made something new out of something old.

“I had the old metal frames from two screen gazebos for years that my wife kept asking me to throw in the dump,” said Clement. Instead of doing that, in 2020, he used them to make her a beautiful enclosure for her garden.

Some small business owners that pivoted had a great year.

Sarah MacPherson owns Birdie & Bub Clothing in Upper Coverdale.

“When the pandemic hit and sales of clothing dried up, we pivoted to start offering face masks - and had our biggest year ever, with our largest wholesale and retail sales to date,” she said.

Clara Pasieka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal