Posts Tagged ‘Gratitude’

Posts Tagged ‘Gratitude’

To The Roof of Africa!

8.12.2010 | 3 Comments

On January 1st, 2010 I started my journey with this blog entry:

I am going to climb a mountain. Well, I’m going to walk up one, anyway.

I haven’t done anything like this before. In fact, I can probably count the number of times I’ve gone hiking, and I know I haven’t been camping more than half a dozen times. Don’t get me wrong, I know what I’m getting into. I’ve watched videos about climbing this mountain. I’ve submitted questions about the climbing of this mountain to semi-popular websites. I have bought (although not yet read) books about this mountain. I feel about as prepared as someone who listens to a song on the radio and then starts hiring roadies to prepare for a world tour.

In August of 2010, I am going to fly to Tanzania, Africa and climb Mount Kilimanjaro as a way to raise money for the Delta Hospice. The Hospice holds a very special place in my heart, and it is my absolute honour to take on this journey to fund raise on their behalf. But this will be no simple journey. Oh no, this will be a flat-out epic.

Aside from the parent-induced membership in Brownies and Girl Guides, I have managed to avoid the outdoors quite sufficiently for about 30 years. I am the anti-camper. I do not like being cold. The sound of rain drops falling on a tent is nearly trauma-inducing. I would rather be in prison than a sleeping bag. (Some of you more astute readers may be able to pick up the subtle hints I am dropping in regards to my views on outdoor life). To climb Mount Kilimanjaro means that I will need to… oh, man… camp for 10 days.

And so, purely for your entertainment, I am going to allow you into my world as I train for this adventure. For the next seven months, I will allow parts of my life to become an open book, and permit you to laugh, cry and shake your head in total disbelief as I attempt to turn myself from Robyn the Indoor Princess, into Robyn the Sobbing Mess of Outdoorsy Semi-Competence.

And so it begins…

Bring it on, Kilimanjaro!

And today, on August 12th, 2010, I am boarding that flight to Tanzania, Africa knowing that $10,000 $11, 850 has been raised (so far!) for the Delta Hospice Society.

I hiked once, twice, three times and four, five times, six times, and seven

I trained

I attempted to camp

I ate, ate, ate, and ate, and ate, ate, and happily ate, and ate, and ate, shamefully ate, ate, ate and attempted to explain sarcasm, ate, and ate, and ate, and tried to avoid eating, and thought about what to eat, and ate.

I fundraised, and had help with fundraising

I was sponsored and sponsored again

I was humbled

I remembered.

This has been an incredible journey on the way to having an incredible journey. I learned a lot about myself in these past eight months, and I learned a great deal about the power of human nature and the strength of community kindness. This whole experience has left me awed. And I am grateful for it. Thank you for letting me share it all with you. This became such a personal blog, and I’ve met some very wonderful people because of it.

And so today, I leave this blog in the capable hands of Chris, who will update it as often as he hears from me. I’m not sure how or when I’ll be able to make contact, but please know that it’s a priority for me to be able to keep you posted.

I want to thank you all so very, very much for following me and for reading this blog. It means more to me than I could ever express to know that I’m carrying your support and kindness in my heart as I scale that mountain.

And guess what?

I’m crying.

And so it begins…

Bring it on, Kilimanjaro!



Kindness of Strangers

7.30.2010 | 0 Comments

All it took was a small moment in time. One short minute-burst of thought, sent my way over the waves of the digital sky.  From the keyboard straight to my heart.

Here are just a few of the emails that I have received from kind strangers, who took the time to send their wishes my way…


In poking around the net (and) I came across you, Robyn. Wow, you’re a Goddess! I want to congratulate you on your gumption and generosity with your Kilimanjaro climb. I know from the determination in your writing that you are certain to triumph. You’re an inspiration to the rest of us butt-sitters. Good on ya.

great work Robyn.  In life its the things we worked hardest for that are worth the most……….. and what you are doing, you will remember for a lifetime

Thank you for sharing your amazing stories, wit and charm . . . I love, love love your positive energy!!!  I can tell that you are a gem of a gal! …I would love to support your most awesome cause for one awesome guy.

Great thing you’re doing!  I’m proud to support you.

I  am totally impressed with what you are doing. Can we get scientists to clone you? There are too many rude, unkind, ungracious people in the world. Not enough to go the extra mile(s) like you. A toast to you!

In a perfect world, I am able to climb mountains and share experiences for the most noble of causes….and may even look like you..or even be able to walk the walk…and spread the word from the highest peaks…however, aahhhh…not my reality….   BUT … I will support you and have already in so many ways….even though we do not know each other..I have posted your link to everyone I know and will get something going on my end.  Please take good care of yourself and let me know what I can do to help…

I knew Kirk very well since he was a kid… I am so proud of you Robyn for turning a tragedy for Kirk’s family into a positive journey by undertaking this massive climb. Do me a favor please. When you get to the top of the mountain blow Kirk a kiss from all of us back home.

…But you girl, well you rock and with your humor well…let me just say, even when it’s tough Robyn think of us back here rooting you on. It’s not whether you get to the top that’s important, it’s the commitment you made to start a journey to help others. Whatta girl! You have courage, spit and vinegar girlie girl.


Thank you.

Thank you all so very much for taking the time to write. It means a great deal to me to hear what you have to say. You honour me, and I thank you.



A Little Awesome

7.07.2010 | 0 Comments

There’s this mountain, see? And it’s big. I mean, BIG. And I’m going to grab a couple of friends and, you know, walk on up to the top of it. I’m going to try and raise $10,000 while doing this extendo-jaunt, and I plan on making the most of the multi-day adventure by sandwiching it between two other multi-day adventures. And guess what… I’m going to freaking AFRICA to do it. This trip is big.




This is not a small thing. This is a very massive trip created from very massive ideas, and will have a very massive result.

…but is life really all about the very massive?

Last night I was woken up from a gentle sleep, and was presented with… well, a present! Chris had gone out and bought me The Book of Awesome. Have you heard of this? No? Well, now you have. And now you won’t be able to live without it. It’s a great story… in fact, I’d go so far as to say that it’s awesome.

What started out as a regular guy looking to find the good in each regular day has spawned a Movement of Happy and Gratitude. This guy was having a bit of a rough go in life, and decided to start a website to chronicle all the wee things in life that are, y’now, totally awesome.

Chris saw that I had my own sort of Awesome Recognition thing going on in my Gratitude Journals (Every night since July 27th, 1999 I have written down three things that I was grateful during the day) , and he thought I would appreciate The Book of Awesome. And I totally, totally do.

It’s not the BIGMONDOHUGELARGEMASSIVEGARGANTUANIMMENSE things in life that make the BIGMONDOHUGELARGEMASSIVEGARGANTUANIMMENSE impacts, it’s the weetinysmallteensytinyittybittylittle things that do.

So maybe THE CLIMB (insert ogre-esque ‘RAWR’ here) isn’t the thing.

Maybe it’s the single step that gets me closer.

And that’s awesome.


Awed, Stunned, Grateful, and (of course) Teary

3.26.2010 | 0 Comments

What a world we live in… What a community!

I have put the word out that I am looking for donations for raffle prizes and door prizes for the upcoming Kili Gala. As of this morning, I have over a DOZEN confirmed items for the draw. And man, are they COOL.

I have paintings from incredible artists, photos from local professional photographers, spa certificates, books, personal training classes, jewelry, fabulous coffee and an incredible DVD by an uber-talented director.

And much more to come. This is going to be such a great raffle draw – it’s going to be really hard for me not to try and win everything!



The Gift

1.30.2010 | 0 Comments

Sometimes, I get completely overwhelmed with the generosity that I have been shown from the residents of this wonderful community. Once word started getting out that I was taking on this adventure to Africa, things have been happening that I would never, ever have expected. Things like this…

I was speaking with a fellow resident of Delta recently about my quest, and she seemed really interested, was keenly asking questions and showing genuine excitement. She said that she may not be able to make a monetary donation, but that maybe she could help in another way. I explained that I appreciated any help she could give me, and was grateful for her offer of… well, whatever it was she was offering. Apparently this woman works for a major airline, and so, she offered me this:

Starting in February, I have a ‘Buddy Pass’ to fly (for free) anywhere in the world that this major airline flies (ok, I pay taxes, but that’s a tiny cost considering what a flight costs these days).

I was stunned. Really just knocked off my feet by this amazing show of generosity. She didn’t have to do this, but she did! But, there’s a catch, right? Yes, there is. The one caveat is this: I have to actually use the pass. Take a weekend in Hong Kong, fly to London for a quick shopping trip, go see a concert in LA, use it for training in some way… Training… Training…

What if I flew to Colorado to do some high-altitude hikes? How about skipping down to South America for an entirely new travel experience? What about Hawaii, Mexico, or Cuba? Should I go visit my friends in Japan? Should I fly to Cranbrook, BC and conquer that bloody Fischer Peak once and for all?! (YES. THAT.)

Wait. Does this airline fly to…

…it does. I can fly to Dar es Salaam. I can fly to Nairobi.

With her generous offer, this wonderful woman cut out one of the most expensive parts of my journey. How do I ever thank someone for a gift such as this? For once, I am speechless, except to say this:

THANK YOU, my beautiful friend for this incredible show of generosity and kindness. I promise to do my best to make you proud, and to show my appreciation for such a truly amazing gift. May what you give come back to you many times over, and may you enjoy the same goodness and charity that you give to others.

With gratitude,


A Most Beautiful Thing

1.23.2010 | 1 Comment

Today is the long-awaited opening of the Centre for Supportive Care and Hospice Residence. Last night, volunteers were invited to have a look inside before it officially opens to the public. I knew this was going to be a beautiful facility, but I was still unprepared for what I saw…

I toured the Hospice Residence last night, and I am not ashamed to say that as soon as I walked through the front doors, the tears began to well in my eyes. The Residence is a simply designed, natural, welcoming space, obviously created with the residents and their families in mind. There is a beautiful kitchen connected to an intimate dining area, comfortable home-like seating areas, quiet hallways free of clutter, a childrens’ room stuffed with toys and books, a lovely spa room (with an all-important towel-warmer!), and a family room with a comfortable bed should family members wish to stay the night.

All beautiful, all welcoming, all perfectly personal and serene.

But it was the ten private suites that stole my heart. As I write this now, I have tears in my eyes as I think of how much thought and honesty went into these suites. They are made as much for the living as for the dying. I could tell you about the incredible lift system in each room, that comfortably and safely brings the resident to the private en-suite. I could tell you about the tasteful, simple furnishings that adorn each room. The small fridge, the variety of different lights and settings, the understated and non-institutional bedding of soft blankets and gentle sheets…

I can tell you about the reclining chairs that have been placed beside each of the ten beds. At a time when they are caring only of the comfort of their loved ones, family members have someone to think of theirs.

But the thing that really struck me, the thing that made everything fall into place was this: off each of the rooms is a small, private, covered balcony surrounded by immaculate, understated gardens and trees… and the doors to these balconies open wide enough to allow a resident’s bed to be gently moved outside. It was at this moment of my tour that I started crying and simply could not stop. The idea that someone thought so far as to ensure that even the most ill of residents, those who may be too weak to move, those who are living the final days of their life, could go outside and feel the sun, hear the birds in the trees, take a breath of fresh air, was more than my heart could bear. To me, that wide door was selflessness personified.

This coming week, the public has an opportunity to tour the Centre for Supportive Care and Hospice Residence – I think you should go. All of you.

20 years ago, Nancy Macey had an idea to start a simple phone line where people who needed help or education regarding end-of-life care could call and get connected. Now there is a physical space where end-of-life-care is conducted with patience, dignity, and kindness. A place where individuals can go for support, education, and peace. A place where entire families can get the care they needed. Why? Because Nancy confidently asked the community of Delta to help raise over $7 million, and we said yes. There were donations of a million dollars, and donations of the simple, appreciated change that someone had in their pocket that day. Funds were raised by corporations, organizations, and individuals. Bottles and cans were collected, fund-raising Yoga classes were held, talented stylists donated their tips, and selfless children gave up anticipated birthday presents, choosing to ask for donations to Hospice instead.

And here, today, is the result.

This is the Hospice that our community built.