It's been my privilege lately to be involved with a number of heartwarming events that make me realise that family is not just the people you live with, or gave birth to, or are related to. Family is everyone who makes up the community in which you surround yourself, at work, during leisure time as well as at home.
I am blessed to be a part of the Light Up Your Life Society, a group of passionate and dedicated volunteers who have for the past twenty five years raised funds and provided support for palliative and hospice care for Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Parkland County. They have several events - a raffle, a Chinese buffet luncheon, a variety show, a silent auction, as well as lighting up the murals in Stony Plain with luminaries to help folks remember loved ones. 97% of the donations raised go to purchase equipment for palliative care patients and this year's goal is $100,000. The love and drive these volunteers have for this cause is phenomenal and the light they cast touches many families.
It is also my blessing to be part of the City of Spruce Grove. For the last 14+ years, my work family and I have been through some highs and lows (like any other family!) but the camaraderie and connection that we have only grows stronger every year. This was made all the more apparent at a recent gathering for a colleague with a terminal illness where more than 150 people showed up to celebrate the man, his life, share stories and shed tears for his prognosis. Some were former coworkers from other areas of his life, some were former coworkers who left the City of Spruce Grove over the years, some were current colleagues and family. All came together as one unified group and the love and light in the room were breathtaking. It was raw, and real, and touched every one of us to the core of our being.
We will always have differences but it's what we have in common that binds us. Easy to forget the good parts in the everyday dreariness that sometimes happens but integral to our well-being, our sense of community and knowing we are not alone, and our hearts.
The threads that bind us may be invisible but they are real and strong and vital. They light up our lives and bring us together, even when we are apart. They are life threads resonating with hope, love, caring and compassion.
Today I feel alive, and bright, and grateful for each and everyone of you.