Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Hands Across the Water

I'm sick to death of the lack of civility and professionalism being exhibited by candidates for the top office in our country. 
A newsletter from my daughter's high school Alma Mater arrived today and reminded me that there are still people trying to reach out and understand others who are not exactly like them.
This particular newsletter discussed the Model United Nations Program that my daughter was also fortunate enough to travel to The Hague to participate in back in high school.  Each school group is assigned a different country, and then debates for that country in the UN.  It was a world class opportunity for her and one in which I wish all children could take part.
One of the instigators (possibly THE instigator for this particular local school - but I don't feel like researching it) was Frederick "Chip" Smedley.  Chip happened to be my second cousin, the one kid my own age on that side of the family, so when we were little we were fairly close.  We grew apart as time passed, however.
He's been gone from the school for about 7 years, and he passed away in 2013, leaving behind thousands of grief stricken ex-students.  The memorials left on social media were unending and very touching.
Reading the newsletter today, the writer spoke of the "traditional dim sum dinner" the first night in the Netherlands.  It struck me that if that was indeed a long-standing tradition (I'll have to ask Molly), it would have been Chip who started it and the students who participated this year would not have had the opportunity to have met him.  For some reason, that really chokes me up.  He's become a part of history or tradition, I guess.

It seems that with so much noise being generated by those who wish to keep us separate and filled with fear, I am once again full of gratitude for people like my cousin who see the need and find a way to get strangers from different cultures together... to show us that we are all human. 

Sorry it took me so long to thank you properly, Chipper.

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