A Pedestal. Tall, strong, impenetrable and always illuminating a feeling of an unobtainable goal. It’s symbolic of one dream we all share, continued expansion of happiness. Pure, unselfish happiness born through life’s lessons and peace shared with others in secure and calm waters.
I began my climb at a low point in my life where I fed on synacism, insecurity and selfish needs. In my mind, nothing was going
right. However, one day I met a group of people who had fewer choices at happiness than me yet for some reason, they
weren’t. One of them, a woman, looked up at me and began talking. She was an elderly woman and clearly happy to have the company. During our conversation she shared her life with me. The traditional courtship when she gave her heart to her husband. Agonizing labour during the birth of her first child. Frugal days during the depression. Yet Christmas mornings prepared for her children with few gifts that she and her husband were grateful to be able to provide, were her most cherished. She spoke of
the moment she saw she was losing her youthful figure and noted strongly, that her husband didn’t care. Then, she shared the moment she wished she hadn’t outlived her family. She trusted me with her vulnerabilities because she was lonely. It’s a gift when
another shares their vulnerabilities with us but this went beyond that. What this woman wasn’t aware of was that our conversation prompted my own personal ascent. The pedestal beside me became achievable by founding the Children of Christmas Past.
It’s enormous where I stand beside stay-at-home moms, single parents looking for work; retirees learning how to work a computer to answer emails; roofers giving spare time to do “anything that is needed”. I stand beside a teacher with cancer who calls to discuss arrangements for a tree in their school while recovering at home from her last tumour surgery. The pedestal grows larger as my front door is opened to an amputee on welfare. Dropped off by taxi, his wheelchair is brought to him so he can personally hand deliver the gift. It was one of the largest donations we received and one that kept my heart awake most of that evening.
My home phone is answered for weeks daily by a woman whose husband is in the hospital passing away and yet she never told me. She is speaking to an 86 year old woman who has spent the last 10 months knitting wheelchair lap blankets for the Children
of Christmas Past. A 9 year old girl from Kamloops B.C. starts her own blog about the Children of Christmas Past because she
doesn’t have a grandma or grandpa. A company realizes during a torturous summer heat wave, that a senior may be suffering. They call the house to donate an air conditioner. A day later it arrives and it leaves within an hour to be installed that evening by one of our homecare agencies.
The pedestal grows larger and stronger as it now fits the children and teachers in schools carefully making Christmas cards for the gifts. Then arrives the shopper going store to store for the right shade of red so that “Betty” will be happy with her gift. The delivery people, the wrappers and sorters in my cold, unfinished basement working until the late hours of the evening. All the hockey players, administrators, parents and coaches who wanted to do more than purchase a gift.
So yes, there is a pedestal and without thousands of people I share the Children of Christmas Past with, I would still be at the bottom, struggling.
We all stand beside each other and many have become friends, and now family. The point that it is run from one home means
only that. One house with many people in it working together, building a foundation for one perfect pedestal.