Gratitude

Gratitude

I’ll be the first to say it. Sometimes, it’s pretty hard to have gratitude. But then there comes the day when you realize how lovely a flower is or how wonderful your children really are then you realize how important it is.

Making our way through Massachusetts and hitting our first big city, Boston was eye awakening. Moving from Maine’s beautiful blueberries to the bustling brilliance of Boston was a huge stress and not something we considered when planning for our journey. Let alone the possibility of blistering lesions on my head, hurting hair and a swollen eye.

On the other hand, amidst the stress, I began to realize how fortunate we are that things turned out the way they did. We originally had planned a group walk in the city which we cancelled a few months ago at the prescient advice of one of our wonderful volunteers Mark Johnson. While I initially felt bad about this, I am so grateful we did-- that day the temperature was over 95 and the thermometer on dashboard read 108-what a disaster that would have been.

Then, I gave our first talk on Monday at Spaulding Rehabilitation, the amazing Rehabilitation Hospital where I’ve been doing telemedicine and which has a Gold Leed Certification-for its commitment to renewable energy and sustainability. We were also fortunate to have some attend the presentation on-line. Having tried many times to speak about climate change and disability in health care forums and being shot down, I am very grateful for the fact that people have started to listen.

Afterwards we made a visit to Vernon Hill, project manager for Climate Crew. It was so refreshing to finally be able to communicate out of my element, with someone focusing on climate change and caring for the frontline communities. Climate Crew also has developed a climate preparedness week “dedicated to learning, service, and actions that better prepare our communities for extreme weather events”. which is held from September 24-30. Amazingly, the goals of CREW week are very similar to those of Day for Tomorrow and I am pleased to say that I will add Day for Tomorrow to the events for CREW week, CREW has listed Canada to Key West as a partner and I am telling people about CREW week in our presentations.

Meeting Vernon was followed the next day by an opportunity given to us by Kristen McCosh, the commissioner of disabilities of Boston to speak at ADA 2019. She was kind enough to let me speak about the mission of Canada to Key West and Day for Tomorrow and put on a great day about disasters and disability. Not surprisingly, the reason for the Day for Tomorrow name showed up while we were in Boston—The temperature shot from 95+ to 60 ish overnight and there was a tornado on Cape Cod while we were there. Remember, you can no longer be sure about what the weather will be tomorrow!

At the ADA day I also met Cabell Eames, beautiful mother and advocate that is passionate about climate and disability. Between Cabell and Vernon they introduced me to Bob Massie, a true renaissance man with degrees from all three ivy league schools who is a champion for social justice and climate change, amongst many other incredible things he has done and his wife Anne Tate who is a architect and professor at Rhode Island School of Design. The three of them were so generous with me. The Massies invited me to their home and the four of us spent 2 hours together, pretty much in a group coaching session, providing me with feedback and recommendations on how to achieve my goal of bringing attention to the issues of people with disabilities regarding extreme weather and climate change and sparking action in this arena.

Even when I write about this it sends chills down my spine at how events materialize where they need to be. I’ve got a lot to think about and much work to do regarding the mission, but feel as when guidance is needed somehow things always fall into place and the pieces of the puzzle do come together.

I was also fortunate that when I stopped my course of meds for my shingles on my head and my vision regressed, I was right there by Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary, one of the best eye hospitals in the US and was able to be seen quickly. Now I am back on meds and there is a plan in place!

As the great philosopher, Mick says, “you might find you get what you need.” I can’t speak for the world, but I can speak for myself and somehow it seems we do get what we need. So, today I will be grateful. For the wonderful people who have volunteered to help me on my journey, for my amazing husband Craig and for our incredible children, Graham, Sterling and Jagger who I hope can be fortunate to have a wonderful earth to live on when they reach our age.

Gratitude. Sometimes its hard to find, but when you do, you realize how precious it is and you don’t want to lose it again.