The telephone rang.
The voice said..... "Congratulation! Out of three hundred applicants you have been chosen to be one of the torchbearers for the Winnipeg leg of the Manitoba HydroTorch relay on July 26, 2017."
She explained that Winnipeg was the host city for the Canada Summer Games July 28 – August 13, 2017.
I was reeling - my first response....."... but I'm not an athlete."
She answered, "You don't have to run or be an athlete, you only have to walk some 200 yards and wear a Summer Games T-shirt."
I can do that.....
I am honored to do that.
I love Winnipeg. I love athletes.
I am always inspired when I watch competitive sports, by the discipline, the courage, the skill, and the determination of the athletes. They have so much to teach the rest of us.
But a torchbearer? That is by definition someone who carries the ceremonial torch: someone who leads or inspires others in working toward a valued goal.
Apparently, a wonderful young friend of mine had nominated me. Thank you dear friend. You are special.
"Would you be willing?" the voice asked.
Yes - of course I will do it. Not sure I am worthy - but I would love to do it. I might even try and get into better shape myself - which is always a worthy goal.
"Don't tell anyone except family and perhaps a few close friends. We invite you to a torchbearer announcement Friday, May 12, 7:15 am."
That's the date of the closing arguments. "What time again?"
"Morning - 7:15 am."
Perhaps I can do both....
And I do both.
May 12th at an unearthly hour Cliff and I wake up, get ready, and drive down to the Convention Centre, park the car and walk over to the Manitoba Hydro building for the "red carpet announcement."
There really is a red carpet.
And at the right moment, the curtain opened and I made way down to the front, received my torchbearer pin, met a line of dignitaries, shook their hands, hugged some - and felt honored and so grateful to be part of such a wonderful event in such a great city.
But we couldn't stay for the free pancake breakfast - we had to walk quickly down the street to the Law Courts building, a little out of breath. We arrived just in time.
What a beautiful start for a challenging day. So even though I was sick with a cold - and in a fog --and tired, I was delighted, I was honored. I was glad to be me.
"We cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening our own." - Ben Sweethand