From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – It’s cold right now so in my house that means one thing- wool blanket weather. And not just any blanket – my threadbare, weird orange colour, sort of flowery woolen blanket.
So far, every person I have lived with in my adult life has told me that it is the ugliest blanket in North America, and it just occurred to me given it origin that it could be over 100 years old. Needless to say, it is proudly displayed on my bed right now.
In 1951 my great grandparents and their two young adult children immigrated to Canada. They brought with them almost nothing except hopes for a better future for following generations, a fearless attitude that they would succeed, a willingness to work hard and a trunk of belongings that included a certain orange flowery wool blanket.
I know that my great grandparents would have been ruthless in deciding which few possessions would get put in the trunk, so I know that this blanket was special. I am comforted and inspired to think that part of their decision to leave everything behind had me in mind. While they had not met or even dreamed of me exactly, they were thinking about their children’s children’s children when they left the world they knew behind and loaded up that steamer trunk.
So yes, the blanket is not pretty, but it keeps me warm and reminds me when I am challenged or overwhelmed that not so long ago people disembarked to a new world where no one spoke their language, bringing along with them a dream of a better life for me and a wool blanket. I think I can meet my challenge today, and I am warm.