Allowing us to stand in the rain
To the Editor:
Our only son, Martin, age 49, died of pancreatic cancer on March 11, 2012 at his home on Bowen Island, B.C.
In 1989, he married a girl from Vancouver, moved there and became a Canadian citizen. He immediately fell in love with the beauty and the rich outdoor life of B.C.
When he was diagnosed with incurable and inoperable pancreatic cancer in August of 2011, he purchased a wonderful 62” WindRiver Outfitting Co. umbrella that had a unique gust proof feature.This umbrella allowed him to take long walks in the provincial park adjacent to his home on Bowen, giving him the means for personal and spiritual rejuvenation that he and we so needed.
When he died, we, as executors of his will, claimed the umbrella and took it home with us to Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
One rainy day, we had an appointment with a lawyer in Boston. We hung the umbrella in the office coat closet. When we left the office, it had been taken. Despite emails to all clients and office staff, it was never returned.
Dismayed, we called Mark’s Work Wearhouse in North Vancouver where our son had purchased the umbrella. They had the exact maroon umbrella in stock, but could not accept a U.S. credit card by phone, nor did they have a shipping option.
We searched the internet for WindRiver Outfitting Co. No luck! We called Mark’s again and asked for their marketing department, which is in Calgary, Alberta.
When we called Calgary, asking for the address of the supplier, Grace, who had been on her way to leave the office for the day, picked up the call because she had an instinct that it was important.
We told her about our dilemma and the story of our dying son’s dependence on the umbrella. We ended the conversation and later learned that Grace shared our story with her co-worker Cheryl. The next day, she called to say that the two of them had arranged to send the umbrella to us free of charge.
When the exact duplicate of the cherished maroon umbrella arrived, a $50 gift certificate was included along with this verse: “An umbrella can’t stop the rain, but it allows us to stand in the rain. Just like faith, it may not remove our trials but it gives us the strength to endure them.”
We were incredulous. Being from the United States, we often hear negative propaganda about how superior our health care is to Canada’s. But we witnessed Martin’s medical care on a level that would have bankrupted him here. Now, Mark’s employees have shown compassion that leaves us emotionally breathless. What can we say but: “Viva Mark’s, viva Canada!”
Betty and Noel Tipton