Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Dancing in the streets

May 6, 2009

The world is filled with trouble and human misery, but for every troubled human there is a person or family or group of some sort willing to try to lessen that misery – both for other individuals and for themselves. That is what makes humans so extraordinary.

In the course of my illness I have been the beneficiary of such extraordinary effort from people I have been lucky enough to know or cross paths with.

My family and friends have been the rock to which I anchor myself. Without them I would have been adrift and would have drowned in the tidal wave of circumstance. The volunteers who have selflessly donated their time have kept open the course which I travel to all those who are there to meet my medical needs. Many of those have reached beyond their education and experience to help me survive when all around me with the same medical challenges have failed to make it.

I am blessed to live on a rock. It may be inhabited by tall trees, wonderful forest mammals and an extraordinary diversity of birds but it is that rock where I am anchored and it is as much people as it is forest and that makes it even more beautiful and comforting to me. I feel insulated in a womb of caring and comfort and forest. Then, something happens which intrudes into this pleasant dream which is so unexpected and wonderful, that I cannot breath for a moment and I cannot help but wonder at the thoughts and intentions of others outside my peaceful place.

The most recent example of this came from a group of individuals I have never met and whom I do not know. They are electronic friends of Julia, my eldest daughter and she has met none of them in person either. She is friends with them because they have much in common and communicate regularly via the net. What is SO extraordinary about this is that as a group they came to understand that my health was fragile and Julia was financially incapable of affording a trip to see me. They took it upon themselves to find a way to raise the funds for a ticket from Quebec to Vancouver Island and back with enough left over for expenses. To me, this was beyond amazing. After all, these are not huggable neighbors or school chums, they are people on the internet, living in places far way – meeting only through their words and pictures.

While I should – and could – write this thank you to many people, this note is directed at them. I wish each one of you to be aware of the treasure you have gifted to me.

Beyond meeting my youngest grandchild (for which there are no words to express the impact on my heart and mind) I have been able to reconnect with Julia in a way that can only be accomplished by sharing eye contact and hugs and words not hidden by distance or pressed for time by long distance charges or the needs of other children needing attention. Just sharing the same space carries that same wordless dialogue which I share with the forest when I sit relaxing on my deck. It is only at these times I feel really connected and all of you who brought her here have given this to me.

While, for some funny reason, we have never been very good at communicating with words, Julia and I love each other as only a daughter and father can. When we are together, words are just like clouds above the land – required and beautiful and powerful but only clouds. The touch and the look and the unspoken language of sharing the same space are priceless. These things make that connection strong.

While time and distance can blur even the tightest family bonds, if they are really so, time together sharpens them from the moment of the first hug hello. In this particular instance (and speaking only for myself you understand) not only did I reconnect with Julia but came to see and love her in completely new ways. This would have been impossible without having her sitting in the rocker in my room or sharing the sun on the deck. I see her now not only as my daughter but a gifted mother and a brilliant adult and human being in her own right. I saw those things in her over the years but seeing them in person brought them home to me and made them real and forever in my life.

Thank you all. You simply cannot know what you have done. I do and am grateful beyond what I could possibly write here.