Tuesday, July 27, 2010

One Person

Picture this if you will. . . .
It is the early 1900's and you are an educated doctor married to an educated woman who is also an anesthetist.  You want to help people.  You want to make a difference.  You  want to use your skills to the best of their abilities.  You want to serve a mission in China, but it is too dangerous out there.  Instead, you are sent a request to move to a small, little town in a province called Alberta.  There are not many people there, but they need a doctor.  Without you, they will have no medical help.  You decide to make the journey to this small town to become their doctor.
This little town, called Lamont is full of poor immigrants who have left their countries with nothing in the hopes of finding a better place to raise their families.  Most don't speak English and most have nothing, but they need you.  They need a doctor.  You are their doctor.
You build a hospital.  You travel around and help people in different counties. . . whether they can pay or not. . . and then it hits. . . the Great Depression.
The people have nothing.  They cannot pay you.  You try to accept produce as payment and animals as payment.  The hospital even sets up a pig farm in the back to try and raise money.  You realize, however, that you cannot accept produce forever because there are bills to pay.  What do you do?  These people need help.  They need YOUR help.  They need a doctor.
And then it hits you.



Wouldn't it be better if the community helps bear the burden of the medical costs.  What if each family pays $25 for a year and then you wouldn't have to charge the sick and the wounded for their hospital costs as their bills will already have been paid.  You could help those in need and still pay the hospital bills.  It could work!  The community can work together and help each other.

They do. 

It works.

The hospital expands and grows.  A nursing school is built in the community which becomes well known and attracts many nurses to the school and consequently to the town.  The hospital and nursing school become the largest employer for the town for generations, even in 2010.  Your small idea of community health care becomes the foundation on which Universal Health care in Canada is born.

You are one man.

You have changed the lives of an entire town for generations and the health care of a country forever.

You are remembered for your gentle spirit and kind heart and innovative ideas.

Your name is Albert Ernest Archer.

And I am proud to be your Great-Great Granddaughter.

Thank you for your legacy and for teaching me that one person can make a difference.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

To Infinity . . . . and Beyond!

Lately I have been feeling down in the dumps.  I don't really know why, but I just have felt sad all of the time.  I am not one who likes to wallow in pity, and so this has really been getting to me.  As I was doing laundry I thought to myself that I should start thinking about things that I am thankful for to help me feel better. . . . but I thought better of that. . . . I just didn't want to do it.
And then it hit me. . .
A light saber slashed across my shins followed by the bluest eyes and the biggest grin I have ever seen and I knew I was in heaven.
Time is so fleeting and since I am now done having children, it has become very apparent that I won't have moments like these for much longer.  So, I sat down, ate some banana bread and watched the action unfold.
There it was. . . two Jedi knights. . . . one named Buzz Lightyear and the other, Darth Vader. . . . battling it out with a light saber and a spatula for the ruling of "Infinity and Beyond". 
There was action!
There were sound effects!
There were tongs involved at one point!
And in the end 5 or 6 different super heroes were quoted as the battle raged in my family room.
Who won?
Does it matter?
The prize?
A kiss from mommy who now sat contented with life and who wished that she could capture moments like this one to infinity and beyond.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Uncle Brant

How was your long weekend?  Did you spend it with family and friends?  Did you do fun things?  We did!  My sister, Jenna got married last weekend, so we got to kick off the summer with her wedding, and followed it up the next week in the company of our extended family on my mom's side.  Otto had a scout camp that he went to (and had a blast), and we spent the week with my Aunt Christie's family doing various activities.  We also got to see one of my great friends, Cynthia, who has been up here visiting for the summer!  The perfect week right?
Well, almost.
On June 30th, my Uncle was involved in an accident while loading the boat at the cabin which almost killed him.  Our cabin is boat access only and so we store our boat at "The Marina" and the brakes on one of the boat launchers failed causing my Uncle to fall out of the boat that he was loading and onto the cement, where the launcher proceeded to run over him with it's back wheels, drag him into 2 poles which broke on impact and then run over him with it's front wheels too.
It is AMAZING that he is even alive.
He has:
3 broken vertebrae in his back
Skull fracture from the base of his neck through his face to his nose
5 broken ribs
Bruised lungs
Broken collar bone
Shattered elbow
Lots of muscle damage to one of his knees
Shattered ankle
Broken ear drum
He was leaking cerebral fluid out of his ears for a couple of days, but the doctors seem to think that will clear up.  The biggest problem is that his lungs are already weak because he had cancer 20 years ago and right now he cannot breathe on his own.  He has developed an infection in his lungs that the doctors are treating, and even though he is improving a bit, day by day, he is still in the ICU listed as being in stable but serious condition.
Immediately upon hearing about the accident, my parents, grandparents and my Aunt Christie all went out to be with him and his wife and two of his children who were with him.  My mom is still there with my Uncle and his wife and my grandparents.  She continues to give us updates on his condition.
This has been a shock to me.  I don't know how close you are to your extended relatives, but I grew up being quite close to mine.  My Uncle lives only 15 minutes away from myself and Otto and I see him and his family at least once a month.  I also am in a singing group with my aunt and so hearing about this terrible accident has been devastating.
The good news is that it has also been motivating me to be better prepared.  It has made me look through my bank accounts and make sure that both mine and Otto's names are on all accounts, registrations, credit cards, etc.  It has made me check into my insurance policies to see if I have proper coverage.  It has made me take a look at my family life and wonder if all of my affairs are in order so that if something were to happen to myself or my husband, would we be able to get through it.
I can only imagine the pain and the sorrow that my aunt is feeling right now.  I don't know what I would do if something like that happened to my Big Guy.  Being so far away from it all and knowing that I can't really help at all has been really hard for me.
So all I can do is pray. . . .
. . . and wait. . . .
. . . and hope that all will be well.