The moment was electric, hair raising and emotional as three children 5, 7 and 9 followed by their parents were descending down the airport escalator, a culmination of almost a year of efforts to sponsor this Syrian “refugee” family. Two of the children had red hair, and the third had brown, they looked like any kid from Canada. They looked familiar, belonging and comfortable which made me question what I was expecting. Their arrival signified, at least for them, an end to the madness of war they left behind and a trigger to a new life. You could not help but feel the electric significance of the moment. You couldn’t help sense the joy, wonder and satisfaction by all the sponsors who showed up at the airport. They are finally here. We did it! We felt we saved a future, if not a life. The children and their parents looked happy, excited and puzzled, a new cocktail of emotions only they could experience. Young Catherine, a 10 year old Italian Canadian was so visibly touched by the moment, holding my hand, she told me it’s so good to share part of your wealth. Bigger words than her age.
At any age, this was a transformative experience. I’m full of hope, wonder, and possibilities and thrilled that I can still be shocked, happy and excited all at the same time. I felt my life had a new meaning with unlimited potential and possibilities, like when you learn how to drive a car, a first date, or acing an exam. Once again life surprised me but this time it was less about me and more about being part of something bigger, I’m reborn, all the noise in my head is disappearing, the doubt diminishing and I’m comfy in my skin. My skin, no doubt aging but its wrinkles no longer define me. I am free and I feel so good! All because I gave a tiny fraction of my time to those who need it. I was no longer at the centre of my own thoughts, others were and in return I got peace, hope and above all love.
I’m inspired again, not because I gained more wealth, not even because I got what I thought I wanted. I realized every time I’m at the centre of my own thoughts I become less happy, more anxious and my mind is less settled. I often wonder why are we born, maybe we are born to grow, to love and to serve…
The sponsors, who are old and new friends, are amazing people, they are contributing enormously to this experience, each in their own way, some are even learning Arabic, making sure this family not only survives, but succeeds and feel at home by exposing them to all things Canadian – Tim Horton’s, Senators hockey caps, apple picking, English lessons & soon skating:). They are loving it, and more, these sponsors are doing all this with grace and elegance. Being part of this group added so much meaning to my life and I am grateful to them all.
Well life is good! And once again my mind is calm, my heart is grateful and my spirit is high, at least for a while longer … Salaam 🙏