Kidlet had mentioned that she had something special for my birthday but that it had arrived yet. I reminded her that I had asked them not to buy me anything and she smiled slyly and said, "don't worry, it didn't cost anything".
Today she came over - sparkly gift bag and her eldest sister in tow. We all chatted over lunch and just about when I thought my curiosity was going to get the best of me, she handed me the bag.
I read the scrolls of paper in disbelief... it's no secret to the people around me that two of my greatest heroes and favourite Canadians are Stephen Lewis and Romeo Dallaire. I love them, and everything they stand and fight for. Stephen Lewis rages and wages war against the HIV/AIDS pandemic and serves as the world's collective conscience. Romeo Dallaire served as sentry during the Rwandan genocide, he broke rank to bear witness to the atrocities he was powerless to disarm, and also serves as our conscience. He pours his outrage, guilt and pain into service.
Lewis and Dallaire give voice to the disenfranchised and have dedicated their lives to create change for a better world.
Kidlet wrote to them, explaining how much they mean to me, and asked if they would write me a small note for my birthday.
I know it would be the best gift I could give her - words from her hero. She has inspired me my entire life and I would like to give her something inspirational back. I know you are a very busy man and receive many requests, but if you could fulfill this one, I would be eternally grateful.They came through; and Kidlet came through - big time. Romeo Dallaire personalized a typed note:
The greatest compliment I can receive is to know I have inspired others to become passionate towards global issues. Keep believing in your ability to impact human rights issues half a world away.I was overwhelmed. And then it got even better when I spotted the envelope with the Stephen Lewis Foundation stamp on it. Inside - a handwritten note containing the superlative language of the master communicator himself - Stephen Lewis.
Priceless. That is what this gift was. I was moved to tears and in so many ways. I told Kidlet that what we really want in this lifetime is proof that our loved ones really know us. A gift that shows you have been understood and heard is simply the best. And priceless. So thank you Kidlet for your inspiring, one of kind, once in a lifetime gift, and for showing me your good heart. I love you. And you too - are priceless. And for that, I am eternally grateful.