A photo of a boy ran from his mother’s grasp to reach his father’s outstretched hand. The photo became known as Wait for Me Daddy and is one of the iconic Canadian images of WWII. This is Warren “Whitey” Bernard, … Continue reading →
“I remember promising myself should I live I would prove myself deserving of life ” ~ Terry Fox
The image of Terry running will forever ingrain in my memory.
On April 1980, Terry began his Marathon of Hope across Canada to raise funds and awareness for cancer research starting by dipping his artificial leg at Atlantic Ocean in St John’s, Newfoundland and will finish by reaching the Pacific Ocean in Stanley Park, Vancouver. It ended just outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario on September 1980. The cancer had spread out and he died on June 1981.
Terry became an inspiration to millions of people worldwide. He left a lasting legacy of annual Terry Fox Run in cities across Canada and around the world.
To date, the Terry Fox Run has raised at least $half a billion dollars or more for cancer research as every year due to a young man’s dream, courage and determination.
There are four bronze statues erected in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The statue increases its size from life-size to double the size of the first. The monument is a symbol of a great human spirit.
A photo taken 33 years ago in Manila reminds me how sad and brave my grandmothers were as they bid us farewell for our journey to Vancouver. After final blessings, embraces, and tears, we boarded the plane with suitcases crammed full of everything we could bring from our old life. Everything except my cherished umbrella which we had somehow neglected to pack. I loved that umbrella the way other four-year-olds treasure dolls or teddy bears. My new friends were mystified by my broken spirit and broken English. I did not know the word for umbrella. “My payong, my payong.” I repeated woefully. I wanted the umbrella that had sheltered me from the hot sun.
I wanted to escape this strange place where umbrellas held the wind and rain at bay. As I got older the memory of my umbrella drizzled away. I planned my getaway: Paris, Tel Aviv, New Delhi … even Toronto. Anywhere but rainy, boring Vancouver. Like my parents, I sought a better life elsewhere. Unlike them, elsewhere left me disappointed. I yearned for the seawall and for Granville Island and salad rolls. In my homesick mind, I heard the seagulls at Kits Beach, and breathed in the deep green peace of a day spent at UBC. I longed to smell the cedar tree in the backyard of my childhood in Marpole, and to taste the vegetables my parents tend there. I ached for Vancouver.
Today, I show the photo, taken all those years and countless lost umbrellas ago, to my husband and children. I will leave umbrellas behind, but I don’t forget where I have been or how far I traveled to get here. Once it was a distant destination promised in a photograph. Now it is the place I love and call home. ~ Bernadette Gonzales McGrath
The story of Bernadette is in two places. One in Marpole, close to where she used to live, attached to a lamp-post. The second is a monumental rock where each word is cast in stone, at Queen Elizabeth Park, a forever chiseled story. A masterpiece.
Bernadette and I are cousins.