C.C. and I are sitting out on the deck eating dinner under the day’s falling light. Tiny pinpricks of stars begin to glitter above as the sky deepens from aqua to indigo to black, The Big Dipper, Orion, Cassiopeia…
I ask him who is a hero he encountered this week, and he promptly replies, “Hakim.”
Hakim is the receptionist at the Tribal Council offices where C.C. has his office. “He is always smiling, always friendly and happy,” C.C. says. And he goes on to tell me the story of Hakim coming into his office hoping C.C. or one of his staff can help a young, pregnant woman whose car is in the parking lot, unwilling to start. “She puts the key in, turns it and it just goes, Scccrrrr. Scccrrr,” Hakim tells him. And Trent, C.C.’s project manager, goes out and helps the woman.
Hakim and Trent are heroes.
I had a long and delightful coffee yesterday with my friend Max, a client at the homeless shelter where I used to work. Max and another client, John, just got back from the New York Musical Theatre Festival where they travelled to be part of Onalea Gilbertson’s production of Requiem for a Lost Girl which had its world premiere here in Calgary two years ago as Two Bit Oper Eh Shun? (the 2010 blog I wrote about it is posted at the NYMF site, here). Max is full of stories about his travels in New York, and more importantly (to me), about the things he learned about himself. ”We were there to be their mentors more than anything else,” Max says of the six Covenant House youth who took part in the production. After a pensive, quiet moment he adds,”My dad was right.” And he tells the story of his father’s lifelong involvement with Knights of Columbus because of 26 cents he received when he stepped off the boat as an immigrant with no material possessions many years ago. “He always felt he had to pay back that 26 cents,” Max says before adding, “I have lots to offer others too.”
Max and John and Onalea and Marcelle and Elizabeth and all the other cast and crew who worked so hard to make Requiem a reality are all heroes.
Onalea Gilbertson is one dedicated, committed and talented woman. After spending six months in New York planning and mounting Requiem for a Lost Girl, Onalea hopped on a train and took off for Washington, DC where her one woman show, Blanche, is appearing at the Fringe Festival (It’s also appearing in the Fringe NYC Festival August 15-25 ). The reviews are phenomenal, and Onalea is considered, ‘best of the fringe’. Onalea constantly inspires me with her drive to be her best and give her most to create a world of beauty and love. It would be great if we could all support her and LIKE Blanche on FB — go here to add your support!
Onalea Gilbertson is a hero.
There are heroes among us everywhere. Have you celebrated a hero today?