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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My condolences. It does sound like she passed away surrounded by love, which is probably all any of us can ask for.

Aviva and I send you our condolences. And thank you for sharing such a moving tribute while also raising some important and oft-ignored points about the way we treat our elders. You have honoured your Gramma here and I'm sure will continue to do so by following in the footsteps - and blazing your own - of her generosity.
Thanks to you both.
The funeral was on Saturday. The sun was shining brilliantly just as it was on the day of her death.

The service was really wonderful.

We're shooting the Podcast of delivering all the soda-can tabs and stamps to BC Guide Dogs this Friday.
Hello Tom,
Please receive our condolences for the loss of your Granma, from Carolina & Lucie in Caracas, Venezuela, South America.
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