As I sit quietly while a child sleeps I have time to reflect on some events that appeared to be obstacles yet in the end were gifts. Remember a time when you were sure you covered all the bases in preparation – paperwork in hand, friend with influence at your side, and the most critical factor time. Alas, you discover this is not good enough and the goal you planned so carefully could very easily disappear because of one critical document.
You are experienced in the field of problem solving because the problems, they come at you daily. You have been around the block once or twice and know a few people who can lend a hand. You are focused on the outcome, the one you want, not the one perceived by the news, so you go at. The vision is narrow and single-minded.
For Leila and I our goal was to travel to Costa Rica to celebrate the nuptials of Ben and Tennille. Spend a week in the sun, the same sun and warmth that has been eluding those of us in the north over the month of April. Getting Leila a passport is a little more difficult and to be able to travel with her requires supporting letters. To be clear, the assistance in completing the application from Glen Thibault’s office was engaging and efficient sprinkled with assurance. The documents required by the parents, the courts, and the Society – all came with no fuss or muss. Received a phone call from Passport Canada with a question of clarification and a need to be connected to the Society for validation. All was done in a timely fashion and again given reassurance the passport would be there in time. Figured out where I am going with this yet? Correct, the Friday 10 days before our designated time of departure the passport was not ready. So what now? Hence, the paragraph above.
For once I truly did listen to my gut and did not allow panic to interfere with what needed to be done to get the passport. Go to the experts. A call to the MP’s office afforded me the helpful hands of both Darrell and Brian over the next week. They probably got more calls from me than required, they were patient, kind, understanding, tolerant. I spoke to a few people from Passport Canada office during this time, again pleasant, helpful, reassuring. Sounds good, right?
Well, the passport could not be delivered to our home rather it would be transferred to the closest passport office – Toronto. And the only person who could pick it up was the applicant – me. This meant leaving home three days earlier than expected with a more than full plate with work projects, income tax preparation, and packing. The gut was reassuring me all would be well in the end, however my commitment to ensuring work projects were left in a way others could just pick up with little need for extra effort gnawed at me. I am one of the worse packers in the world when it comes to any trip including a weekend visit and now I am packing for two. Income tax preparations, well BL (Before Leila) I was organized and early, now I am a woman with good intentions with no hope in getting it on time. So I accept that there may be a late fee. I can live with that – relieved a bit the weight on my shoulders, breathing better. The report due at work created a little bit of sweat, okay a lot of sweat, then it dawned on me we will live in the computer age. Worked on the report and send it in via email. Breathing better. Packing I will just figure it out before we get on the plane. Decisions made trip to Toronto, oops winter storm warning, freezing rain in Toronto and we are driving into it. Simple drive slow and with care, leave in plenty of time so not to hit the storm. Can you see how if I chose I could have been an emotional wreck? Just so you know, in my lifetime I have chosen the emotional wreck option, this time it simply wasn’t practical. Not that it ever was.
Decided to make the time in Toronto an adventure for Leila. Went on line and bid for a hotel room. We hit the jackpot – Toronto Hilton. And I mean jackpot. For years I wanted to stay there, however the cost of the room was prohibitive. The staff was simply more than amazing. Thanks to Miss Leila, they were all endeared to us and we received a few bonuses because of her.
Her observations to me, “Everybody thinks I am cute, you aren’t because you are big. That’s okay because I love you.” I can live with that. What I loved about the staff was their genuine interest in Leila with conversations that let her know they respected her opinion and enjoyed her presence. How do I know this, she invited several people to join us in our activities. When we left them she would tell me she loved them in her heart.
We kept very active in Toronto. The pool was an indoor/outdoor pool and even in the rain we spent our time primarily in the outside section. Leila truly is a fish, which worked out well for spending everyday on our vacation in a pool. Managed to get, are you ready – box seats for the two of us for $60 to see the Wizard of Oz. I will interject here to let you know on this day Leila walked from the Toronto Hilton, 145 Richmond St. to the Eaton Centre area twice with of course, little detours along the way.
Now, can I find the words to truly express the joy when Leila’s passport was in my hand? Think of a time in your life when you experienced unadulterated joy, the freedom you felt, the lightness in your step, the sunshine the filled your world even though the day was rainy and cold. This experience as I describe to you, is the first time with this intensity and believe me I know happiness, love, hope, and joy. Gratitude for everyone and anyone who was a part of the process at that moment received from me the biggest hug and warmest smile telepathically.
In the coming weeks I will share some stories of our experience in Costa Rica for I live with one of the most remarkable people on this earth who brought to so many with her presence the reminder of how to live life.
Today appreciate the remarkable people in your life, feast your eyes on them, soak in the love, and tell them how important they are to you.
Have a fabulous week.
“Tragedy is a toll for the living to gain wisdom,
not a guide by which to live.”
To Read or Not:
Ascent of Women by Sally Armstrong. Powerful, informative, thought provoking. Worth the read.
EXCERPT: The Ascent Of Women
The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti
From the World of Theatre:
The Wizard of Oz
HERE’S NO PLACE LIKE OZ
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of The Wizard of Oz is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic, totally reconceived for the Toronto stage. Developed from the ever popular MGM screenplay, this new production contains all the beloved songs from the Oscar®-winning movie score, all the favourite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.