ED SMITH IS MY HERO
I was intrigued to find that in classical mythology a hero is “a being of godlike prowess and beneficence who often came to be honoured as a divinity.” This is a definition that Ed Smith will appreciate – Marion Smith? – Not so much. Marion is a great sounding board for Ed and she is no doubt in every way his partner. She will not let Ed’s head get too big! In many ways, I hasten to add here, Marion is my hero as well – I guess in a technical sense she is my “heroine;” [Not to be confused with heroin.]
Respectively, hero and heroine are best defined by Dictionary.com as “a man/woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his/her brave deeds and noble qualities.” This very giving couple are indeed people of “distinguished courage.” To hear Ed speak tonight was a real witness to their courage. They have a hardihood that is inspiring to all. We cannot imagine what Ed and Marion have been through. They have in literal and figurative ways “stared down” many forms of darkness and have basked in the joy of the light.
Ed and Marion would not necessarily see their deeds as brave, but in reading From the Ashes of My Dreams, their bravery is formidable. They are both more than noble and this parish has been indeed graced to have had their presence for this past 48 hours. I personally have been blessed in ways too numerous to mention. Catherinanne and I had good time with Ed and Marion and we have made new friends. The controversial French author Anais Nin wrote that “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."Those words are quite meaningful. Ed walked into my life, in a way, when I was very young. I would read about Ed’s experiences in THE VIEW FROM HERE, and I would be truly inspired. Ed walked into my life again this summer when I read From the Ashes of My Dreams and I was moved deeply by this family’s experience of great pain and struggle and by Ed profound theological resolve in the midst of unbelievably difficult circumstances. His theology was refreshing and real and I wrote about that in this forum in September. Then Ed and Marion walked into our lives this week with the gift of themselves, and what a gift that is. Here they were this week – here in our presence. While I have only known Marion through the lens of Ed’s writing (and her own writing in the book), I have been thoroughly impressed with her witness and her courage – we are back to that heroine thing again aren’t we? Catherinanne and I feel as though there are worlds in us that we discovered over the last two days – we discovered them because of these two great people. Thank you so mush Ed and Marion for your gift of time to us. You have brought many things into focus for Catherinanne and I. You may have similar feelings.[ I invite to share your feelings about Our “Evening with Ed Smith” by posting to the comments section here – (Or if you cannot do that just email your comments to me at email@example.com and I will post them to the comments section.]
Yesterday was really a great day indeed. I learned to drive a BIG van and to do so with care – some of you may laugh at this point! I learned that Ed and Marion love crab legs as much as I do – Marion especially. I learned that Ed can think real quickly and that his humour is as sharp in person as it is in writing. I learned that Ed can hold an audience in the tenderness of a silent moment and break that moment with heart-warming laughter. I learned that I am disabled – that I have to address my disabilities. I learned that I need to “let go the stone” in order to defeat my own Goliaths. I learned a lot about myself, about this community and about how we all witness – because this couple came into our lives and allowed new worlds to be born.
A LOT of you (over 100 turned out last night) have expressed how great last night was. I want to thanks Angela Santin from the Travelodge again for her kindness in making our guest stay so very comfortable. Ed, Marion and Loretta were very comfortable thanks to you and to your
Thanks as well to Marion and Ray Hinton, Carolynn and Izzy Mastelotto, nancy Nosanchuck, Kathy Wight, Holly Perrault, Scott Shields, Jane Cornett and Dawn Dean all for helping out in your own way to make all of this happen. And a specail thanks to all of you who came out from St. Mark’s by-the-Lake, from St. Mark’s (West Windsor), from St. Gregory the Great, and from the community at large.
Being a big leaf fan, Ed was thrilled to receive a Mats Sundin signed, worn official NHL PRACTICE JERSEY from the Markus Book Club. Ed was also disappointed that Toronto blew another one last night in the shootout but was happy to hear that the namesake on his hockey sweater got three points.
Marion was delighted to receive a gift basket with all kinds of stuff to pamper herself as well as a beautiful candle. She really was thrilled to be asked toi sign books too – only once before had she been asked.
Marion and Ed stayed to the late hours of the night and signed books and met people and they were wonderful and giving in every way. I don’t believe they missed many people in the room. In fact it was midnight before we got them back to the Hotel.
I was impressed to hear Ed’s reflection on this parish – I value this man’s opinion so much that it was good to hear him affirm that this is a very special group of people at St. Mark’s by-the-Lake.
Ed and Marion have moved on to Hamilton now and come Friday will begin the long trek back to Newfoundland. We wish them well and we will always remember the evening where “new worlds” were born for us because of the light of the Holy One shines through two special pilgrims on their journey. Till we meet again, God speed.
[IF YOU HAVE PHOTOS FROM THE EVENING PLEASE EMAIL THEM TO THE PARISH AT firstname.lastname@example.org. A MORE COMPREHENSIVE GROUP OF PHOTOS WILL BE FOUND IN A DAY OR SO AT WWW.STMARKSCHURCH.NET – ESPECIALLY IF YOU SEND ALONG SOME MORE PHOTOS!]