Thursday, 5 December 2013

Richer Than You Think

The more things we lose because of ALS, the richer we become...does that make any sense? Perhaps this "devastating" illness isn't as devastating as we thought. Almost everything about our lives has changed, but the best things remain. Mike has lost his job, his home, most possessions, the ability to drive, write, run, walk, talk, eat and so on. But the best things in Mike's life still belong to him, such as love, laughter, family, friends...we are richer than we think.

"You're Richer Than You Think"...that's a Scotiabank slogan. My mom worked for Scotiabank as a teller most of her working years and loved it and they loved her...she was their best employee! Anyway, I wonder if those Scotiabank advertising geniuses know how insightful their "you're richer than you think" statement really is. Apart from high interest savings accounts, investment plans, mutual funds and RRSP's, their "You're richer than you think" is very true for most of us.

The other night, my parents, Mike's mum and sisters, Aileen and Pat, and Mike and I watched some old home movies. One video we watched was a video Mike and I made for my mom for her 60th birthday (16 years ago). There were some skits Mike did with my mom and a song and dance/skit he and our children did together to the song 'Sixteen Candles'...they just changed it a little and sang 'Sixty Candles' instead (the cake was pretty much on fire with that many lit candles). It was one of those "you had to be there" things, so I'm not going to try to describe it. It was funny though. Super funny! We laughed and laughed. Being with family, laughing together, talking, sharing, and reminiscing; this is what it means to be 'rich' and we are richer than we think.

Mike and I and our children have had the amazing opportunity to travel to Malawi, Africa on a few occasions (as I have mentioned before). It was an invaluable experience for all of us, especially for our kids. After observing how people live in this very poor country, they realized quickly that they are richer than they think.

Madison is doing a fundraiser this month for 'Project Wellness' - our family/my parent's charitable organization. She is going to run 25K across Maple Ridge the weekend before Christmas and all money raised goes to Project Wellness. We just started spreading the word and she already has friends and hockey team mates interested in joining her. My dad, in his mid-seventies still goes to Malawi a few times a year to drill wells, oversee building projects and farming projects. He makes sure the children are fed and have school uniforms and have medical supplies etc. These are the things the money donated to Project Wellness goes to.
                                                               Malawi pictures (2007-2008)
Madison and Gerald
Nathan and Madison and some happy children
Mike, Erin and friend Lauren visiting patients at a hospital
Me and Mike with a group of children
For more information on Project Wellness and/or Madison's fundraiser, email me at or go to

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