Saturday, 14 November 2015


Most nights when I go to bed, especially when I am alone, I ask myself how I would feel if I didn't wake up in the morning. Most nights, I reply to myself that I am okay with that. I am not happy about it. I am not willing to take action to make it happen. I am, however, ready for it.

Last night when I went to bed, I asked myself that question, if I wanted to get up tomorrow morning. The answer surprised me; I said to myself "No. I don't want to die tonight. I'm just not ready. I don't want to go." It was unusual for me, different to feel this way. Usually I only escape those thoughts when Katherine is with me, when she is next to me.

I know why I thought this last night. Yesterday evening was the annual charity auction for the Calgary Hospice at the Can n Fiddle Pub. Of course I was there. But something else happened last night. Last night I was able to help in the setup for the auction. Certainly all I could do was hold a box and sort posters, but I contributed my time. I sorted. When asked, I produced the appropriate small poster for an item. That was all, it was nothing big.

Except that it was gigantic for me. I felt helpful. I felt like I could do something to make a difference, no matter how small, how insignificant. I don't mean an emotional difference; I know that happens every day. I mean a practical, real, substantive difference. Not money; there are plenty of people who make that contribution. I contributed with myself, from myself, of myself. It's hard to express the satisfaction and fulfillment that gave me.

I come from a family of "doers". We were raised with a version of help which meant getting in there, getting your hands dirty, picking up the heavy end, carrying the biggest load. I was raised in a family where helping someone had little to do with words. And since we had no money, there was little in that regard either. Helping, making a contribution, making a difference was all about action, physical action. That's why I went to bed happy.

1 comment:

  1. Great column--which is how you contribute every day