By Marla Cohen
As I was driving home from a meeting last week, my attention was drawn to two birds sitting on the same light standard. It was along what was a raging Bow River in late June. A majestic Blue Heron and a lovely large Hawk shared the space. It made me think of the many families who travel to Calgary with their children and stay with us at Ronald McDonald House.
As the river thundered by, it made me think of the storm the families must meet head on.
A Heron and Hawk, two very different birds, brought to the light standard seeking a safe place and somewhere they could gain insight. Much like the families at the House, we provide a safe community within its four walls, filled with hope and compassion.
Many people were impacted by the flood; here in Calgary, and across southern Alberta. As we took time to help our friends, neighbours and co-workers, the community came together. It was enlightening to not only witness, but be part of the response. Even some of our families at the House had their homes at risk and even damaged.
When we built our new House in Red Deer, we developed a phrase to accompany special gifts of appreciation. It reads:
Life’s journey takes us in a variety of directions.
Sometimes we are forced to deviate from our plans through the illness of a child.
As the winds blow and seasons change, Ronald McDonald House Central Alberta will embrace families with love, and provide a place where hope lives and where optimism replaces feelings of despair.
It is my dream that no child would be ill. But until this dream comes true, I know Ronald McDonald House will be there for them and their families.