Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Package in the Mail

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

I dated a gentleman last year. We only dated for about three months. He proposed. I said No. He has been trying to win me back ever since. His "winning me back strategies" went to far, and I had to cut ties with him. This should have been the end of the story.

But last evening when I walked to get the mail, there was a package from him. I was going to write return to sender on it and mail it back to him, unopened. But I didn't. I opened it. I was thinking that he remembered that it is ML's birthday next week and my heart softened a bit as it felt like a book, and ML loves books... There was a present for her in it, but something else as well.

A bit of background on this gentleman. He emigrated to Canada about 8 years ago from Zimbabwe. He and his family were/are privileged white farmers. He claimed he was much more liberal and open minded than most of his contemporaries, and thinks "just like you Tanya" but I could hear the racist undertones when he spoke. During these three months I was always speaking of the AIDS crisis in Africa, especially the orphans. He told me how many of the workers on their farm have died of AIDS. Fact of life he said. I said I am going to adopt. He says I am a silly Canadian girl and they would be better off dead in Africa than being raised by a single white Canadian. The relationship ended.

In his efforts to win me back, he said he has changed his mind, he will adopt what ever color of a child I want, and since he still has his Zimbabwean citizenship he could adopt a child for me without all the red tape... I turned this offer down.

One of his next efforts, was to run a triathlon. But before he ran this triathlon, he raised money. He said he will show me that he thinks "just like Tanya". He raised money for the Harare Children's Home where 30% of the children there are HIV+. He used the charitable status of his local church to fund the money through, and when his parents came to visit him, he handed the money over to them to donate. Because of the crisis in Zimbabwe the easiest way is to personally hand over the money. I knew he did this. I was happy that I was able to have that affect on someone. To see someones heart change, even just a little...But I haven't thought much about it since, especially with all the drama with him as of late.

But when I opened up the package in the mail last evening, there was a scrapbook that his mother had made. It showed where the money went to and pictures of some of the kids. It was now real. I saw what my rantings did. The money raised provided some much help for orphans in a country that is falling apart.

I have often wondered what can I do? I can talk about it. I can blog about it. But what does it really change? I now see what I can do. I can share my passion.

Have my feelings for this man changed? I don't know. But now I know he came into my life for a reason.

( I am trying to figure out how to post the scrapbook here... and will, as soon as I figure out how to)


Sharla said...

That's really a beautiful thing when your passion can ignite the passion of others and when you can educate people who seem to be hardened already. It is obvious that this man's heart really has softened and perhaps there has been a true change in perception on his part (I am not telling you that I think you should get back together with him as I obviously know none of the other history!).

Barbara said...

Good on you! Can't wait to see the pics.

Tami said...

Wow...that was some affect or he REALLY wants you back! LOL

Shannon and Dan said...

Hey Tanya,
I was just checking to see how you are. You haven't posted anything in a while. I hope all is well.

Jody Vriend said...

Hey, thought I'd say hi. Wondering if everything was back on track for you yet.

We recieved a refferral and hope to travel in February or March to pick her up.

Merry Christmas

missspider(charlotte) said...

The quote is wonderful. Your post makes me think. I too am single and there is this guy that somehow became a part of my life and I have yet to determine what that is all about. Anyway I have subscribed to your blog. I am beginning this journey. I will read what you write.

Melissa said...

That is awesome that you could change his point of view. Kudos!

I hope you will continue your blog(s).