Can We Celebrate Canada’s Birthday?

The Party Can Happen!

For the past twenty-nine years, our family has gathered as a group of just under 50 people to celebrate our special needs granddaughter’s birthday. For some of us the round trip to my son’s involves a drive of at least four hours. Few of our crowd lives close by. This year our family Canada Day baby turns thirty. How will we celebrate safely in the midst of Covid 19? We love Vanessa and getting together, and yet we don’t want to jeopardize ourselves or others.

Being who she is, Vanessa has loved this giant party just for her every year. In January her birthday party is already a topic of conversation. This year she knows her party will be different. She wanted more than people driving by and honking their horns. As a special needs child, Nessa trusts her parents to figure it out.

This week we received our invitation to Nessa’s party. My son and daughter-in-law, who care deeply about their community and love their daughter, have followed the Covid 19 guidelines. Starting with us the grandparents at 10 a.m., the immediate family is invited 2, 4 at the most 6 at a time to come and celebrate outside with Vanessa for approximately two hours. Every gift and every chair will be thoroughly cleaned before the next little group arrives. Using the bathroom facilities will entail a scrub down as well. And we will all do as asked. It won’t be the same. Six feet apart and a few at a time will mean playtime in the pool won’t happen. Hugs will be missing. My son and daughter-in-law wil be totally exhausted as they work to keep the Covid 19 restrictions all day. I’m so proud of them.

Our new July 1st family birthday celebration is really a small sacrifice. Even so, we’re not used to giving up our pleasure for the sake of our country or even of our family. We hear, “You can have it. You’re worth it. What harm can it do? Our group is fine.” It would be so easy to rationalize having our party as usual.

Millions of people around the world are sacrificing so much more for others. Gathering in protest of injustice means a huge risk. Yet it takes so much more time, expertise, and creativity to find new and even more effective ways to bring about changes in society while still keeping the Covid 19 restrictions.

2020 is our year to do and give for others. We are asked to use our creativity, love and commitment to protect the health of our nation. Whether its as simple as wearing a mask or as complicated as finding new ways to protest, we can do it. We have the gifts, the strength and wisdom. We can trust in God that our efforts will not just protect ourselves but in the end will benefit world.

Let’s celebrate our country’s birthday safely. We can do it.

Matthew 10: 41-42

This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.”


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