Lydia’s Homecoming

On November 1st Lydia Herrle walked the 250 meters from her family market across the parking lot and up the lane way to her home. It had been almost 6 months since the day she was struck by a truck, knocked out of her shoes, and into a coma. Hundreds of people from the community here in Waterloo Region showed up to show their support, and triumphantly waved their worn and tattered green ribbons that they have been displaying on their cars, trees, sign posts, and mailboxes since the day after the accident.

This outpouring of support and amazing display of community solidarity is a testament to the people that live and work in the region. Almost half a million people live within 20 minutes of the Herrle farm, yet in that moment it felt as though we were a small village, where every face is familiar and everyone comes to help when someone is in need.

To have seen so many people of all backgrounds, occupations, and religions in one place showing their support and rejoicing Lydia’s amazing recovery, and in admiration of the strength of the Herrle family, was a sight that will forever be in my memory. I fought through the tears and managed to take some photographs of the event, though the images hardly do it justice.

The Herrle family has been chronicling their journey here: Please take a few minutes to read their blog.

Welcome home Lydia. Welcome home.

Cars line Erb Street as hundreds of people converge on the Herrle farm to wave their green ribbons.

Panoramic view of the parking lot and lane way, lined with people 3 or 4 deep on both sides.

CTV News van setup in the parking lot. Excellent coverage by the local affiliate of this national network.

The start of the line at the edge of the parking lot. By the time Lydia came out to see us it had grown by 40 or 50 feet.

Another shot of the lined lane way from the other side of the field.

People patiently wait in the rain on the muddy lane way of the Herrle farm.

A young girl makes her way across the parking lot of the Herrle farm, green ribbon in tow.

Lydia makes her appearance!

The Lydiamobile followed her throughout the 250 meter journey. She did not need to sit down for the entire walk.

Lydia waves to all the people lined up and cheering.

Lydia spots a friend from school, her smile widening and her eyes brightening. The two friends embrace, emotion overcoming Lydia’s friend as they hug.

Say something!