Good grief, the last couple of weeks have been quite exciting at The Hideaway.
The words “Thank You” seem so inadequate as I sit here trying to express how grateful and amazed I am by everything that has happened since I posted my open letter to the families of Cape Breton and beyond.
What started out as nothing more than me doing what I could to draw attention to Two Rivers Wildlife Park ended up being an incredible outpouring of support.
The story I shared took on a life of its own and the park has since seen lots of support from members of the community and our province. To think that by sharing our story some good may have come from it is astounding.
Many people were introduced to one of the most amazing people I know – Matthew. He has truly touched many hearts in these last 2 weeks. Complete strangers have contacted us and shared their stories and opened their hearts to us. That’s incredible, and definitely humbling.
Matthew’s love of animals and nature brought him to Two Rivers as a boy who wanted to help and learn. Little did any of us know how two-fold this would all become. As proud of him as I am, I am equally as proud of the park and the people who are there. I’ve said this all before but its impact is worth repeating.
Talking with a new friend this morning, we got on the whole “everything happens for a reason” topic. I’ve never realized how true this expression is more than I have in the last couple of weeks.
If we hadn’t moved almost two years ago, if we hadn’t made that first phone call to the park, if we hadn’t finally said ‘ok’ to Matthew that he could begin volunteering, if we hadn’t done everything in our power to make it work how different things could be right now – and not necessarily a ‘better’ different.
I normally try not to dwell on ‘what-if’s’ but this one really has me thinking. This one really had a profound impact. It helped Matthew more than I could have ever imagined and in turn it brought awareness to one of the best places around here. Our circle of friends has grown substantially because of it and in a very small way I like to think that yes, we made a difference when Two Rivers needed it most.
People read and watched our story and reacted to it very positively. People I didn’t even know stopped me out in public and asked if that was my son in the paper and on tv. Matthew was able to make several donations to the park on behalf of others who dropped envelopes off to us throughout the past couple of weeks. All because of our story. That’s crazy!! We are still trying to absorb it all and grasp the magnitude of it.
For Matthew, an 18 year old guy who is just doing what he enjoys, it has meant sharing his story. Letting people into his world. For a private guy who typically doesn’t like to share much that was a lot for him. To all of a sudden find himself on the front page of our local paper and on the evening news was overwhelming. But this time it was a different kind of overwhelming. He wasn’t frustrated or confused about something. He wasn’t trying to make us understand how he was feeling or what he was thinking. He was as amazed as we were that so many people cared. He was thrilled that his story could benefit Two Rivers and he was so pumped that he could finally do something to help. He made a difference. He showed that there are no limitations to what you can do and by doing something you love to do you really have no idea where it could lead.
I am hopeful that the good news will continue for Matthew and for Two Rivers. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring but I suspect someday in the near future there could be so much more to share.
For now I simply wanted to say those two words once again ~ Thank you. Thank you for taking the time to care.
Until next time…