We know from the very outset that today is a very special day.
We start the day with a gorgeous bread pudding and baked apple breakfast dish that would be at home in a fine Parisian patisserie.
We backtrack by RV to Flaxcombe, where we left off yesterday. Then all of us – all four – ride to Kindersley. We collected at the Museum, about 1.5 hrs ahead of our event, and greeted people as they arrived. What happened next will live in my memory for ages. The citizens of Kindersley began pouring in. The hall was quickly filled, with perhaps 80 or more well-wishers who gathered to raise funds for our cause ($2,000, by early estimates). The mayor gave a short and welcoming speech, followed by a touching and funny speech by Jim. I had several deeply meaningful conversations, including chats with Janine, Nancy and Wayne, Karen and Blair, and Kevin.
And then it hit me: Kindersley is the perfect example of why we are on this journey. What we are doing is hard, really at the edges of what we can physically do. But it is for a purpose of matching importance. Kindersley is a place where “neighbours” are important – they are essential parts of the community, with shared interests and social roles. Kindersley, is a historical, socially active, civicly engaged, agriculture and oil town with a strong sense of community. So, when community members are broadsided by illness, such as Parkinsons Disease, the community is there to help.
So what’s our role? For one, we are there. We aren’t an email or ad campaign. We got on our bikes and rode there. And we did to deliver a message – a positive message – that fighting back against PD is worth it, to focus on what they can do rather than what they can’t, to connect with others, and to make exercise a daily fixture. We hope to lead by example.
The generosity, openness and warmth of Kindersley and our wonderful hosts has made a lasting impression on each of us, and we are so happy that we bent our route to spend time here.