December 2023 Member Spotlight – Bev Abrue

A lot of understanding Bev Abreu is understanding her upbringing.  There was the spiritual space of her home Catholic church, a small 18-century chapel that felt a world apart, and emanated a sense of timelessness and sacred history. This laid the foundation for a spiritual quest that translated into a love of Buddhism and involvement in a local Buddhist temple.

If you want to know how Bev works with community, look to her childhood.  The youngest of five children, she describes her family with love as a “puppy pack”.  She credits this upbringing for allowing her to appreciate directive people like her older sibs, but also how to enjoy the folks who were younger sibs and the fun interactions to be had there.  

Bev was a high school athlete and now does triathlons.  Her return to running is a coming-out story of sorts.  One of her first female crushes was with a marathoner. She even quit smoking to keep up with her!  She picked up cycling, then swimming with her former domestic partner, the late Janet Hunt.

Janet was later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.  Through years of caregiving, Bev noticed how Janet constantly re-learned how to function with increasing limitations.  She found herself applying this technique to triathlon training, learning what can be done, what has to be done differently, and always exercising to prevent injuries. Taking care of Janet seemed insurmountable. Yet, without the constant direct and indirect support UUCSS provided, Bev believes that she could not have endured. “In community, each person’s experience has value, because you never know who or how you are helping someone and the effect you’ve had.”

Music plays an important part in Bev’s and her current spouse Kristin Zee’s lives.  You will see her singing in the choir, where she met Kristin, and strumming with the UUkes, and she’s thinking about taking up piano or guitar.  She’s also an amateur photographer with an appreciation for the shapes of things and the play of light and shadow upon them.  And on Bev’s wish list is a UUCSS meditation room whose only purpose is spiritual to get that same energy and peace she’s had in Catholicism and Buddhism. If you ask though, she might tell you about a UUCSS furnace room that is a good place to find a bit of serenity when you need it.