Are You My Mother, Father, Son, Daughter......?
By this point in the OOTC season, our friendly group of volunteers have really warmed up to each other. We're like family, except on our best behaviour! There are those that are cooking, some washing the dishes in the kitchen, some drying, others setting the tables and cleaning up, chatting, kibitizing, making beds, vacuuming.... you get the idea. As it was the day after the very first "Family Day" in Ontario, and also Reading Week for our on-holiday clan of McMaster students, our extended family was called in to help. I was "kvelling" to see so many mother/child, father/child families joining together in such a worthy cause. What was discussed between these families in cars going home after their experience of caring for the needy and less fortunate? What bonds were strengthened, what feelings of thankfulness were spoken for everything that we have, what promises were made to be mindful of those who need a helping hand? Could this be the beginning of a new tradition.
Our wonderful volunteer Ben, came in last night with two enormous bags of winter clothing, hats, scarves.... you name it! He explained that his family spent part of "Family Day" going through their closets for OOTC. Tradition! (It's okay if you sing it; I am!) A family of dinner guests comes in weekly. A mother with her two mentally challenged adult sons and one daughter. They laugh and play euchre and share special time together. Yesterday, I told the matriarch how I thought it was so wonderful that her family has dinner so often together. She was beaming to hear that. How much richer can one get?
Our family has so much to be proud of.
By the way, Winter's back is broken! Native Indians call tonight's mid-February full moon the beginning of the warming-up process leading up to Spring. If you are like me, mixed emotions are starting to swell. How will our guests survive without us after March for seven months? What indignities will they endure on the streets, or in shelters deprived of the "luxuries" we provide. So many of our guests have been with us for years. Like family, they know that we'll always be there for them and they are right.
See you next week.