Monday, March 6, 2017

Similar, but not the same

Toni Lucas, Editorial - I know two women who are facing building their homes, starting with nothing. Nothing is a contraction of No and Thing. This is a big and vague word. One woman is a new bride to be, the other lost her home in a fire.

The blushing bride is filled with joy at the prospect of creating a home. The most insignificant of items gathered is a boon as it eases the collective budget of her new family of two. The most impersonal articles; a lamp, a toaster, a can opener all have value when you start with nothing. The other woman has spent decades creating a home, filling it with items of great personal value. Photos of her family adorned a wall now charred and structurally unsound. A handmade quilt in the process of being made was on a bed which is never to offer repose again. Colours, styles and tastes were blended to create a place of harmony and peace. The loss of everything puts her in the same position as the first woman, but at a point in her life where she was looking forward to potentially welcoming grandchildren into a house already made a home by years of tending.

Each woman believes deeply in giving to the community and volunteering. The first is young and already has started to serve her community and beyond. The older woman has ironically has served for years as a volunteer first responder and firefighter in the community where her child was raised. She has been one of those persons who we rely upon during the most horror filled moments in our lives. She, her husband, and her son when he reached adult age, all volunteered to be first responders. To be there during traffic accidents, fires, and medical emergencies at all times of the day or night. She has attended the darkest and most terrifying moments of many peoples lives to give aid and comfort. She has helped probably hundreds of people never knowing anything about them beyond theirs was a moment of great need. A moment eased whether that was on Highway 3 or a different road, in a field, or in their own home, no matter what the season, no matter what the cause.

Both women express gratitude over what they do have. Family and friends who love them. Their personal mortal health of the human body, always under attack. The younger is grateful to have found her love, the older is grateful to have nurtured love for decades and to have her family alive and well.

Nothing. By now the older woman has a toothbrush, and a place to sleep which is more than she had the morning of the fire. Even though these women are on equal footing right now, there are some big differences in their situations. One has insurance which will put a value to items and help to replace some of the articles gone in a twist of fate. Some stranger will sift through the ashes and assign a number to her suffering. Hopefully, in time, a cheque will be cut to help cover some of her losses. One woman is starting fresh and filled with hope and joy.

Nothing can reclaim hand made crafts made by hours of skill. Nothing can reclaim the artwork on her walls made by her now grown boy when he was a toddler. No artwork, no matter how fine, can replace precious photos now gone forever. Both women are grateful they have what they have but one is looking to the future with enthusiasm, and one is counting her losses and weighing assets while mustering her courage to face the next day.

I count myself lucky to know each of these women. Each one of their courage to face their futures is a reminder to me to count my blessings, and cherish what I value.

To donate to the Findlater Family
RBC Royal Bank
TRANSIT #08149
Account Number: 507-501-5

Email Transfers:
Please put "Findlater" in notes/comments section for e-transfers.

A fundraiser is being organized for the Findlater Family at Cowley Hall Saturday, April 8,
Details will be announced shortly.

On behalf of Jannet Findlater I ask people who know the family if they could take the time and go through their photos to see if they have any of herself, her husband Terry, and/or her son Taran Findlater. Along with everything else she has lost videos and photos which are precious to the family, including school trips, yearbooks, and plays which may yet be recovered through community involvement. Photos can be scanned and emailed to , or contact us for physical items, and we will help collect them for the family. Please put "Findlater" in the notes/comments/subject line section of your email.

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