I must depart from my usual light-hearted discussion to pay my respects to several people in my life who have recently passed away.
During this season of remembrance, as I take time to reminisce about my own mother, I am forced to mourn the loss of these friends and acquaintances who also left us too soon.
They were all strong, independent women, not afraid to blaze a few trails. They shared their gifts in service to the community by raising their families, teaching others, nursing the sick, and giving their time at church, school and more.
They treated the community around them as an extended family. These ladies would never ask anything for themselves, but would constantly demand justice for others. These Superwomen left us too soon. They still had songs to sing, stories to write, games to play, and lessons to teach their children and grandchildren.
The sadness would be overwhelming, if not for the network of friends that surrounded these special people. These women were caring and generous to everyone they met, and, above all, they exemplified the golden rule, which is simply, "treat others as you would like to be treated".
On behalf of all who have known women such as these, please know that you are never far from our thoughts, and we are all better people for having known you.
☐ ☐ ☐
On a related note, there are constructive things we can do at a time of loss.
We can donate blood, volunteer our time, or donate funds to further medical research and education. The winter season of door-to-door fundraising will soon be upon us.
The Alzheimer Society will begin knocking on doors in January, followed by the Heart & Stroke Foundation in February, Kidney Foundation in March and the Cancer Society in April.
The simple truth of door-to-door canvassing is that personal contact increases the funds donated to the organizations. Another truth is that whatever day I decide to canvass will be the coldest day on record.
When you answer the door, please give whatever amount is manageable for you — whether it be a toonie or a $10 bill. If every home donated $5, most blocks would generate about $200, which is well above the average.
Remember, too, that your personal safety should always be your first priority. Legitimate canvassers will always wear an official badge, and will be able to produce a tax receipt at the time of the donation. If you are uncomfortable, you can ask the canvasser to leave his or her information in your mailbox, to be mailed in later.
Whether or not you choose to donate, you can say hello to your neighbour and share a smile. Take care.
Wanda Prychitko is a community correspondent for St. James-Assiniboia. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org