Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The inspiration for my generosity

Today at 10:38am on my Mother's birthday, my Gramma passed away with four of her five children at her bedside.

Having suffered a mild heart attack, she was admitted to Vancouver General Hospital last week and on Thursday evening, I visited with her. I'm grateful that though her body weakened, her mind and spirit remained strong until the very end. I was able to have a heart-to-heart conversation and show her this picture, a collage we made of all the stamps and soda-can tabs sent in from so many generous people, some of whom I have never met.

We had scheduled to take all the soda-can tabs and stamps to BC Guide Dogs Society this Friday, and then bring a puppy to surprise my Gramma but... We're still going to do the video but unfortunately this video will be an in memoriam tribute to my Gramma.

PLEASE, take some time out of whatever you are doing and visit with your elders. Your grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, whomever. The Jim Pattison Pavillion at VGH was a wonderful place and they took such good care of my Gramma but there are so many elderly people left alone in their last days. We're one of the only cultures that doesn't value our elders the way they ought to be. Don't resolve to do it later.

Who deserves more celebration? Is it someone who gives $100,00 a year from an estate of $10,000,000 or is it the pensioner who gives the lion-share of her pension cheque to charities each month? Today, I celebrate my Grandmother's giving spirit. Here was a woman with very little who gave most of it away. She lent my Mother the money required for us to travel to California to meet John Sculley, Apple's CEO, which was the meeting that led to me later being hired by Apple. My Gramma really was the $5 Philanthropist. I will miss her tremendously.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the stamp and soda-can tab collection. I put my laptop on her lap in the hospital bed last Thursday with this picture in front of her. She had an amazing smile that I'll remember always. Thank you to each and every one of you who helped me do a great turn for the BC Guide Dogs Society and who joined me in celebrating one of the most important women in my life.

She was genuinely moved by our group effort. And so was I.

Vivian Elizabeth Macvey: God bless you. I love you.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Breaking news: The beard is gone

Honoring my wife's request, I shaved my beloved beard tonight by getting a traditional "hot shave" with a straight razor at a local barber. I now look about 19. Pictures coming soon.

I'm off to Hollyhock tomorrow to attend Social Venture Institute.

I'll be posting my thoughts on the conference either from the conference or when I'm back Monday.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

What a weekend

I just have to say how proud I am of my wife, Jessie Farrell. She played in front of 30,000+ people in Moncton, NB tonight where the headliner was Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. Tim & Faith flew in on their private jet from Nashville for the show. Jess' travel story? A tad less relaxing:

Jess left early Friday morning from Vancouver and arrived several hours later in Montreal for a connecting flight to Moncton. About half-way through the flight, Jess noticed that the plane made a sharp U-turn and shortly thereafter, the flight attendant announced that one of the two engines had failed and that they were going to try to make it back to Toronto. All the while, the incredibly panicked flight attendant encouraged/instructed everyone to remain calm.

They landed on the Toronto airport tarmac with precautionary firetrucks lining the runway at the ready and then had to turn their attentions to how they would be able to get to Moncton in time for their show. Somehow, Jess managed to get the last remaining seats on a flight from Montreal to Toronto and then Toronto to Moncton flight for early this morning. I wish I could tell you the saga ended there.

Upon arriving in Moncton, it became clear that Air Canada had lost all of the band's clothing and gear. So began another mad dash to the local mall for Jess to find something to wear, meanwhile the band had to borrow gear and equipment from other musicians and performed the show in their shorts.

All of that said, the show was - thus far - Jess' biggest show ever and she tells me it was incredible to perform in front of so many people. Later, Jess stood backstage just a few feet away as Faith began her performance. A real thrill!

I normally don't share too many aspects of my personal life on this blog but I can't resist talking about how proud I am of her!!!

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