‘We are bet­ter peo­ple for your friend­ship’

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page -

The Edi­tor,

On Fe­bru­ary 17, while my daugh­ter, Dako­tah, was home from univer­sity for a few days, a wa­ter pipe froze and broke over her apart­ment. By the time it was dis­cov­ered, the ceil­ing had caved in and flooded her en­tire room. The loss was sub­stan­tial for her. With just a few weeks left be­fore she grad­u­ates from Queen's Univer­sity, she lost all of her text­books and notes from her classes, as well as her com­put­ers, print­ers, and pa­pers she had writ­ten in the last four years. She also lost many per­sonal items and sou­venirs that can­not be re­placed. Her en­tire room was gut­ted.

When friends asked how they could help, I asked them to send her a card or a let­ter as a keep­sake, so she would have a happy re­minder of this time, that she would look back and re­mem­ber it as a les­son in kind­ness, and hope­fully pay that for­ward some­time in her life.

One day, a friend of hers who has been like a brother to her showed up with a beau­ti­ful hand­writ­ten let­ter. Another friend bought her a scarf with a very per­sonal mes­sage on it. Peo­ple where I work do­nated to help her.

And then... some­thing amaz­ing hap­pened to our fam­ily. A lovely man stepped in my door and had a very long con­ver­sa­tion with me about kind­ness, and ex­tend­ing a help­ing hand to some­one in need. He is a well­known, re­spected man in our com­mu­nity, but much more than that, he is a man with a deep de­sire to help other peo­ple.

He of­fered help to my daugh­ter, not just with prac­ti­cal, im­me­di­ate help, but also with a gift that has such mean­ing to her that we are re­ally with­out words to ever thank him. It was an im­mense gift, so well thought out, and so spe­cial that we will never for­get it.

In his let­ter to her, he said, "In this day and age, we live in an ‘ev­ery man for him­self soci- ety,’ and to­day, I want to turn back the clock on that." He shared with us how he had help to be­come the suc­cess­ful busi­ness­man he is, and that he has been led by that help to ex­tend that help to oth­ers as well.

By all ac­counts, he will be able to look back on his life and mea­sure his suc­cess in many ways - but truly the only way that mat­ters is what he is do­ing for other peo­ple.

One does not re­al­ize what re­ally mat­ters the most un­til that time in his life when he has the very least.

To the man who ini­ti­ated this in­cred­i­ble gift, and to all of those who are help­ing him ex­e­cute it, we are in­cred­i­bly hum­bled, in­cred­i­bly thank­ful, and so in­cred­i­bly blessed to know you. What you have done for our lit­tle fam­ily is amaz­ing. We are bet­ter peo­ple for your friend­ship, and we will share your story for the rest of our lives.

Betsy and Dako­tah Lapierre, Alexan­dria

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